The housing market is stronger today than at any point since the Great Recession and has made progress in several key areas after hitting bottom in 2009, Freddie Mac reports in a blog post looking at the state of the housing market heading into spring.
Home sales are up 13 percent since their low point, Freddie Mac reports. Frank Notaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, predicts that home sales will rise about 3 percent in 2014.
Also, the agency reports that housing starts are up 50 percent since hitting bottom. Freddie Mac is predicting a nearly 20 percent increase in new-housing starts in 2014, “which will begin to help ease tight inventories in many markets.”
Housing prices have also been on the upswing, about 16 percent higher than their bottom in 2009, Freddie Mac reports. They expect home values to continue to rise this year, but at a more moderate 5 percent pace. Also, researchers say many markets are still posting housing values that are below their 2006 peaks.
Freddie Mac is forecasting mortgage rates to remain near their historic lows this year, but rates are expected to rise about a half-percentage point during the year to around a 5 percent average by the end of the year.