Mortgage giant Fannie Mae reported recently that despite a dip in overall economic confidence, consumer opinion regarding the housing market is still improving at a gradual pace.

The results of Fannie Mae's August 2012 National Housing Survey show that most respondents expect housing prices to increase by an average of 1.6 percent over the following year, which is a slight decrease from June's expectation of 2 percent. Only 11 percent of respondents think that home prices will decline in the next year, which is the lowest recorded percentage since the survey began in 2010.

Unfortunately, many consumers also believe that the economy is heading for another downturn. Three in five  consumers believe that the economy is slowing, a 2 percent increase over July and the highest level since January. Few respondents, 13 percent, expected their financial situations to get worse, but many, 41 percent, expect it to stay the same.

The slow growth of the housing market accompanies the boom of the rental market, which has been a boon for many rental property management officials. In fact, according to NBC News, the growing rental market may be one of the reasons behind the growth of the housing market. In the face of housing market growth, many property managers are counting on online listings and community websites to promote their rental properties.