Perception doesn't always match reality but, when it comes to financial markets, it can make a difference. For example, if you've ever invested in the stock market, you know that a company's stock can rise or fall based on the day's news, even if the company's fundamentals and outlook remain the same as the day before. In short, perception matters. And, in today's housing market, there's a perception that there are few affordable homes available to prospective buyers. In fact, according to a recent analysis from Fannie Mae, though only 8 percent of homeowners consider their current mortgage unaffordable, 45 percent said that affordable housing is difficult to find in their area. Which provides a snapshot of what is going on in many markets across the country. Homeowners that want to sell may be waiting because they don't feel they'll find an affordable house to move into. The flip side of this, however, is that as long as current homeowners aren't selling their homes, inventory shortages will continue, which is the primary factor behind recent price increases. More here.