Friday Five: Indicators Look Up for Housing

Consumer confidence, bidding wars, and smaller home inventories signal a bullish outlook for the housing economy.

Things are looking up for home owners, home buyers, and the U.S. economy: More and more news outlets report improving real estate conditions. Plus, watchdog agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has got consumers’ backs with proposed regulations that would ensure transparency and accountability among mortgage servicers. All this and more in this week’s roundup of housing news headlines.

Wall Street Daily: 11 Irrefutable Signs of a Real Estate Recovery

Auto sales. Consumer confidence. Manufacturing. Retail Sales. Exports. You name it. Over the last six months, nearly every facet of the U.S. economy has shown improvement. And the real estate market is no exception.

MarketWatch: A Slowly Healing Housing Market

Encouraging reports on the housing market are stirring up optimism about this year’s home buying and selling season. But industry watchers say not to get too excited: Even if 2012 brings increased sales and stabilized home prices, they expect improvement to come slowly, due to a continued subdued demand for housing.

New York Times-DealBook: Mortgage Servicers Face New Oversight

Financial regulators are planning broad new oversight of the mortgage servicing business in an effort to prevent some of the problems that led to the housing boom and bust. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday outlined preliminary plans to address a lack of transparency and accountability among mortgage servicers. The new scrutiny will take aim at the industry’s aggressive tactics and sloppy record-keeping that bedeviled home owners in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Fox News: Tax Deductions Around the Home

The deadline to file taxes is next week, and if you’re still scrambling to find deductions, you should look no further than your own home. Your home is filled with potential tax breaks — if you know where to find them. So before you put the finishing touches on your tax return, check out these write-offs around the home that could save you money.

More on taxes: HouseLogic’s Home Owners’ Guide to Taxes

MSN: More Americans Think It’s Time to Buy a Home

A convergence of factors is leading more Americans to believe that now is a good time to buy a home, according to the latest Fannie Mae Housing Survey. The belief that rents, home prices, and mortgage rates all will rise this year contributed to that determination. The monthly survey conducted in March found that 73% of respondents believed now is a good time to buy a home, up from 70% in February.