Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index is based on a monthly survey gauging Americans' feelings about the housing market and overall economy. It asks respondents for their opinions about buying and selling a home, mortgage rates, home prices, their jobs and financial situation. In August, the index was largely unchanged from the month before. However, the share of participants who said they felt it was a good time to buy a home was up 7 percent. It was the first increase in buying optimism since March. Mark Palim, Fannie Mae's vice president and deputy chief economist, says buyers expect conditions to improve in the months ahead. “The 'good time to buy' component, while still near a survey low, did tick up for the first time since March, perhaps owing in part to the favorable mortgage rate environment and growing expectations that home price growth will begin to moderate over the next twelve months,” Palim said. Overall, 32 percent of respondents said they thought it was a good time to buy, while 73 percent said it was a good time to sell.