Real estate predictions for the coming years are generally positive. With strong home sales, near-historic low interest rates, a refi boom, and steady home price appreciation, Freddie Mac’s economic team projects that mortgage loan originations will scale nearly $2 trillion for 2016.
The projections from the current edition of the company’s Economic and Housing Research Outlook paint a sunny picture despite what seems to be overall weak economic growth. If these projections are accurate, this would be the highest volume in four years. The impact of the UK’s Brexit vote along with other global factors, continue to keep downward pressure on U.S. rates. Freddie Mac says that this pressure is likely to remain for the foreseeable future as the outlook for a rapid global recovery remains muted. Home prices keep rising, averaging 6.2% in June. The pace of appreciation has remained fairly level in recent months, but continues well above income growth, which is rising at 2-3%. Increasing inventory could further propel price growth but if interest rates should lean higher, those price gains could begin to slow. And there will likely be more homes for sale soon.
“Single-family starts are still growing at double-digit rates,” Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin said. “Supply-constrained homebuyers should rest assured that relief is on the way.”
Privately-owned housing starts in July increased 2.1% to 1,211,000, an increase from June’s 1,186,000, according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Housing starts increased 5.6% annually from last year’s 1,147,000.
Although the rate of housing construction is slowing, “July represents the fourth straight month where the 12-month rolling total was flat or less than the previous month. Still, the total was the most starts in a 12-month period since May 2008.” On the other side of the coin, housing completions decreased 8.3% from June. It’s up 3.2% from the previous year.
“Single-family homes have experienced a slower recovery in the past few years, and remain under-supplied today,” Liu said. “We expect supply of single-family homes to catch up over the next few years.”
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