Freddie Mac Outlook Positive
Mortgage giant Freddie Mac has released its Economic and Housing Outlook for April, and the news looks reasonably good. This is in spite of the rut that the first quarter home-buying season has apparently fallen into; for the third consecutive year, the first quarter started off with strong expectations that were quickly struck down in the fact of harsh winter weather and economic troubles.
According to chief economist Len Kiefer, the disappointments of the first quarter should not keep us from expecting good things out of the rest of 2015. He is anticipating the housing market getting a boost from strong job gains and economic growth, going as far as to forecast the best year for home sales since 2007.
Indeed, it may not be too optimistic to accept Freddie Mac’s predictions. The housing market is already accelerating after a disappointing March. Meanwhile, it is estimated that the Fed will be delaying rising rates, resulting in a slow drift upward for the next few months.
One of the big problems in the real estate market remains the lack of inventory in both homes and rental properties. With a decline in homeownership, even the robust pace of rental construction and the conversion of many single-family homes to rental properties has failed to keep up with demand. Rental vacancy rates are currently at their lowest levels since as far back as 1994.