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DS News Webcast: Friday 11/13/2015

Most analysts and economists are predicting a rate liftoff by the Federal Reserve in December after nine years of at or near zero short term interest rates. Recent mixed macroeconomic data, which includes many housing metrics, may delay that liftoff until 2016, however, according to National Home Builders Association Chief Economist David Crowe.

The first estimate for GDP growth in the third quarter came in at a weak 1 point 5 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a better-than-expected total of 270 thousand jobs added in October, but the labor force participation rate is down 50 basis points from last year’s average. Pending home sales declined for the second consecutive month in December. However, mortgage interest rates remain low and consumer confidence data shows an increasing number of consumers who plan to purchase a home in the near future.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly a third of American households, owned or rented, experienced affordability problems in 2014. Fannie Mae, however, would like to challenge. To get better answers, Fannie Mae has launched the Housing Affordability Primer, which contrasts five common housing affordability metrics used in the industry: Housing cost-to-income ratios; a residual income approach; and the home purchase affordability indicators of the National Association of Realtors, the California Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Home Builders.

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