Freddie Mac: 'Double Dip' in Housing Is Unlikely

July 19, 2011

Freddie Mac continues to sound optimism about the housing market for the second half of 2011. In its latest economic and housing market outlook report, Freddie Mac says that the housing market is unlikely to experience a “double dip” and home sales are projected to reach above last year’s pace by 3 percent to 5 percent. 

Despite an unemployment rate that sits at 9.2 percent, Freddie Mac says the gloomy job picture reflects a temporary “soft patch” in the economy and “does not foreshadow an inflection point in gross domestic product growth.”

Freddie Mac forecasts that the housing market “will likely follow the performance of the overall economy for the remainder of 2011.”

Rental housing will likely see the largest growth. Freddie Mac’s first-quarter apartment property price index rose 15.2 percent compared to last year.

While home buyer affordability is at record levels and mortgage rates are at historical lows, households are still putting off major purchases like buying a home, according to the report.

"Following June's labor market report, households are naturally concerned about their financial futures, which is being reflected in the housing market," says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. "Yet, the single-family market will likely improve over the balance of 2011, in keeping with positive GDP forecasts for the United States. Home sales are expected to be up over 2010's pace, perhaps by 3 to 5 percent. And after clear weakness in national price metrics through the first quarter, there are glimmers the second quarter will likely show gradual improvement over time."

Source: “Freddie Mac Says Housing Sector Unlikely to See Double Dip,” HousingWire (July 18, 2011) and “July 2011 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook,” Freddie Mac (July 18, 2011)