A new survey released by Citi found Boston-area residents are more optimistic about their own personal finances and local business conditions than the nation as a whole.

In response to current economic concerns, however, Boston-area residents continue to make dramatic changes in their personal behavior and financial planning, including 51 percent who have postponed the purchase of a major item such as an automobile or other expensive item. Forty percent have taken money out of savings or investments to help pay expenses and one-third of Boston area residents are working longer hours to make ends meet, according to the study.

Confidence appears to be building around the Boston housing market, with local residents saying homes will increase in value rather than go down, with nearly two in three homeowners reporting their belief that they could sell their house today for more than they paid for it.

Three in 10, or 31 percent, of Bostonians believe the value of homes in their area will go up in the next year. Half of the people polled believe percent home values will remain the same, just 16 percent say values will go down, according to the survey.