According to Freddie Mac, economic growth will likely strengthen to about 2.5% in 2012, while the U.S. unemployment rate will decline but likely remain above the 8% mark. Freddie Mac also predicts that mortgage rates will likely remain very low, at least through mid-2012, while housing activity as a whole ‘will be better in 2012, but not robust’ as multifamily lending grows and single-family originations decline.
‘While the headwinds remain strong going into 2012, there are indications the economy and the housing market are gaining ground, albeit slowly,’ says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. ‘Sustained and increased job growth beyond the average monthly payroll gains of 130,000 so far this year ending in November are essential. In housing, look for the rental market to lead the way and for some improvement in the single-family space in parts of the country. All told, next year will be another bumpy ride.’
Freddie Mac's full report is now available online.