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Americans' feelings on financial security

According to Bankrate.com's latest nationwide survey, the majority of Americans -- 55 percent -- think home prices will go up over the next 12 months. Twenty-seven percent expect prices to stay the same and just 9 percent forecast a decline. Upper-middle-income households -- those earning between $50,000 and $75,000 per year -- are most optimistic, with 65 percent expecting prices to rise and just 6 percent expecting them to fall.

While the love affair with real estate has apparently returned, Bankrate.com also found that Americans are feeling less financially secure this month, with the Financial Security Index slipping to 99.5. Any reading below 100 indicates deteriorating financial security compared to one year ago.

Readings on debt, net worth and overall financial situation dropped, with Americans' comfort level with debt taking the biggest hit; those feeling less comfortable than one year ago outnumber those feeling more comfortable 21 percent to 17 percent.

On a bright note, just 1 in 8 employed Americans feels less secure in their job now than 12 months ago, a new low since polling began in December 2010.

For more information on this month's Financial Security Index, just visit Bankrate.com.

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