"There's a strong preference for being in a neighborhood where people can walk to shops, restaurants, parks," says an NAR spokesperson.
Mortgage rates are up slightly this week, following more than a month of declines in borrowing costs.
Middle-class home buyers are struggling to find enough affordable homes on the market as rising prices, higher interest rates, and flat incomes limit their choices.
"A surge in completed foreclosures and a rise in the foreclosure inventory is unlikely given continued house-price improvements and shortages of supply in many markets," says CoreLogic's chief economist.
A new index reveals how many housing markets across the country have returned to or exceeded their pre-recession levels.
If the federal government fails to increase its borrowing authority prior to when the U.S. Treasury says it will run out of money to pay its bills, debt default is not necessarily the first consequence we'll see.
Next to the Canadians, Chinese buyers represented the second largest group of international buyers of U.S. property.
High unemployment remains a drag on the housing recovery, economists say.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is at its lowest average in nearly four months, but the government shutdown is having some impact on federal housing and mortgage programs.
"The cards are in play for a decent and fairly strong recovery in 2014 and particularly in 2015," according to economists at a recent webinar highlighting the state of the housing recovery.