The housing recovery is building up a full head of steam that's taking some of the air out of concerns over economic woes.
Homebuyers are more and more confident about rising home prices and wringing their hands less over the economy at large, according to a Redfin.com survey.
In the last quarter this year, a whopping 71 percent of homebuyers said they believe that home prices will increase in their neighborhood in 2013. That's up from 61 percent the previous quarter. It's also more than double the 34 percent who expected rising prices in the first quarter survey.
Meanwhile, 22 percent of respondents said they were concerned about a weak economy, down from 27 percent in the third quarter.
Only 5 percent of respondents said they are concerned about the "fiscal cliff" or even possible changes to the mortgage interest deduction, according to Redfin's Real-Time Homebuyer Survey , a survey of 1,084 active homebuyers.
Rising prices pushing buyers off the fence
Rising prices are a greater force. Thirty-three percent said rising home prices was their incentive to buy now, compared to 29 percent in the third quarter and only 19 percent in the first quarter.
In California and in other recovering markets, this consumer confidence is translating into more buying rather than shirking away from taking the plunge.
Low inventories are a source of frustration for buyers, but Redfin expects the 2013 home-buying season to kick off with strong demand, early in January and before the traditional post-Super Bowl season .
Paired with low inventories, strong demand will cause prices to spike, at least into the spring, Redfin reports.
How the fiscal cliff will really impact the housing market is anyone's guess.
Redfin's survey also found:
Most homebuyers, 57 percent, cited low interest rates as a reason to buy now, down seven percentage points from last quarter and sixteen percentage points from the first quarter, but still the most common motivator for buying now.
The majority of homebuyers, 59 percent, indicated short supplies was their top concern with buying a home, consistent with last quarter's rate.
More than one in three home buyers, 37 percent, said they were first-time homebuyers, down from 48 percent last quarter, according to Redfin.