Housing is bringing a much needed boost to the economy While uncertainty about taxes and government spending has kept businesses from expanding and the Gross Domestic Product at a low level, one area of the economy is projected to grow at a level not seen in years. The housing market is raising consumers' confidence and spurring the spending that gives the economy a boost. Home buyers seem to be unaffected by the uncertainty that has kept the GDP from growing. While the real estate recovery is essentially in its early stages, its steady improvement is offsetting some of the slowdown in manufacturing. Home prices are on course to outpace even the most optimistic forecasts of last year, say economists reporting in the Wall Street Journal. Home sales are boosting the economy in other ways as well. Retailers are seeing homeowners who are there to buy materials for redecorating and to refurnish and upgrade their homes. At the same time, banks are seeing mortgage profits, high refinance volumes and a stronger demand for new loans. The chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank says, "Housing's share belies its importance to the economy. The confidence effects are massive." Rising prices are driving the market as buyers work to zero in on a deal before prices rise again. Additionally, high rents and the formation of new households have ignited demand. The housing market is moving in the right direction with rising prices, up 7.6 percent from a year ago, but smart consumers realize that homes are still an amazing bargain. During the recession, prices fell by 30 percent. Though they are rising, little by little, they still offer great opportunities, says The National Association of Realtors. Don't forget that the advantage of home ownership involves more than just money. It gives the owner a feeling of pride and control. He or she knows what the payment will be for years to come, and they can redecorate or improve their homes whenever they decide to do it.