Speedy Recovery Seems Unlikely in 2012
“Perspectives on the housing marketrndepend on where you sit,” according to Freddie Mac’s U.S.rnEconomic and Housing Market Outlook</ifor January. The monthly forecast notedrnthat existing home sales increased in November, the inventory of unsold homesrndecreased to a six to seven month supply, and Freddie Mac's economists predictrnhome sales will grow between 2 and 5 percent in 2012. </p
Butrnthere is “a historically large gap between sentiments of buyers and sellers.” Nearly 80 percent of American householdsrnbelieve it is a good time to buy a home, but sellers are not as happy, withrnonly 7.6 percent who responded to a Mortgage Bankers Association surveyrnbelieving that it is a good time to sell. rnIf this gap doesn’t narrow, Freddie Mac’s economists say, thernhousing-market recovery will be delayed.</p
The monthly report titled Toasting the New Year with a Glass Half Fullrnconcludes that, while the economy is undoubtedly in a better place that thernsame time a year ago, a speedy recovery still seems unlikely this year. </p
Other highlights of the Outlook</p<ul class="unIndentedList"<liEconomic growth will likelyrnstrengthen to about 2.1 percent in the first quarter. </li<liThe current U.S. unemployment raternof 8.5 percent is likely to increase after seasonal gains are reversed. </li<liMortgage rates are projected tornremain very low, at least in the beginning of 2012. </li</ul
Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac, vicernpresident and chief economist said, “With the new year comes a sense ofrncautious optimism. There are some positive signs in the job market and consumerrnconfidence; housing is starting to raise hopes for continued gradual economicrnrecovery. But the economy still is giving some mixed messages.”
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