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Fitch Projects Positive Economic Growth in 2015

Encouraging economic statistics of late are pushing U.S. Housing toward more pronounced growth in 2015, according to the latest version of the “Chalk Line” released by Fitch Ratings on Tuesday..

“Demographics, attractive affordability/housing valuations, and a slow, steady easing in credit standards should sustain and ultimately accelerate the upturn,” report says. “The latest economic and housing macro statistics are generally encouraging.”

The report speculates that the positive trends should sustain growth and lead towards an acceleration in early 2015 after a below average start to 2014.

However, “The spring selling season was underwhelming enough that this, along with more guarded expectations for the next few months, will lead to more modest growth for macro housing statistics before the year is through,” said Managing Director and lead homebuilding analyst Robert Curran.

The report continued, “Total housing starts are projected to expand 16 percent to 1.185 million as single-family starts advance 21 percent and multifamily volume gain 6.7 percent. New home sales should improve more than 20 percent, while existing home sales rise 5 percent.”

The analysts caution that there are still challenges to overcome on the path to the projected growth. “Demand will continue to be affected by narrowing of affordability, diminished but persistent and widespread negative equity, challenging mortgage-qualification standards and lot shortages,” they write. “As Fitch has noted in the past, the recovery will likely remain fitful.”

About Author: Derek Templeton

Derek Templeton is an attorney based in Dallas, Texas. He practices in the areas of real estate, financial services, and general corporate transactional law. His experience includes time as an Attorney Adviser for the U.S. Small Business Administration and as General Counsel for a nonprofit organization in Dallas. A self-avowed "policy junkie," he has a keen interest in the effect that evolving federal policy has on the mortgage, default servicing, and greater housing industries.
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