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Housing Market Expected to Follow Overall Economy

Home sales are expected to outpace 2010 sales by 3 to 5 percent for the remainder of 2011 as the housing market follows the overall economy, according to Freddie Mac.


Freddie Mac's U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for July, released Monday, suggests the housing market is not likely to see a full ""double dip.""

According to the report, ""The sluggish job update likely reflects a temporary 'soft patch' in the economy rather than foreshadowing an inflection point in gross domestic product (GDP) growth.""

Unemployment rose for the third straight month, now up to 9.2 percent, the highest rate in six months, while nonfarm payroll employment increased by only 18,000 jobs.

""Following June's labor market report, households are naturally concerned about their financial futures which is


being reflected in the housing market,"" said Freddie Mac's vice president and chief economist, Frank Nothaft.

""Yet, the single-family market will likely improve over the balance of 2011, in keeping with positive GDP forecasts for the United States,"" Nothaft continued.

The rental housing market showed signs of recovery with a 15.2 percent gain through the first quarter of 2011, according to the Apartment Property Price Index.

April prices rose compared to March, according to the FHFA Purchase-Only House Price Index for the U.S. and Standard and Poor's S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices, which showed gains of 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.

Nothaft notes, ""[A]fter clear weakness in national price metrics through the first quarter, there are glimmers the second quarter will likely show gradual improvement over time.""

Freddie Mac also announced a reminder to sellers and servicers that the temporary maximum loan limits for mortgages secured by properties in some high-cost areas are set to expire September 30, 2011. The expiration applies to sales of super conforming mortgages to Freddie Mac.

Super conforming loans dated on or after October 1, 2011 are subject to limits imposed by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).

The Federal Housing Finance Agency will likely provide new HERA loan limits for 2012.

About Author: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.

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