A rising number of Americans say now is a good time to buy a house, according to the results of Fannie Mae's most recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index. The Index – which measures Americans' perception of the economy and housing market, as well as their personal financial situation – found a 4 percent improvement in the number of respondents who felt it was the right time to buy. That gain could be due to the fact that Americans increasingly feel confident that they aren't in danger of losing their jobs. It could also be attributed to a feeling that home price increases are beginning to slow. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's senior vice president and chief economist, says slower price appreciation could bring some relief to buyers. “Our February results show the most modest consumer home price expectations since late 2012,” Duncan said. “For consumers who think it's a bad time to buy a home, whose share has trended up from its recent low last November, high home prices have been an increasingly contributing factor. A slower pace of home price appreciation may provide some relief for potential homebuyers, especially first-time buyers who couldn't reap the benefits of selling a home at high prices to buy another one.” This combination of increasing financial security and a positive perception of market conditions could help motivate more Americans to think about buying a house this year.