From the WSJ:
Mortgage rates are likely to remain near record lows for the first half of 2013, while property values are expected to strengthen, said mortgage-finance company Freddie Mac.
The company expects long-term mortgage rates to rise gradually in the second half of 2013, but to remain below 4%, according to its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook.
Freddie Mac sees house prices continuing to rise next year, with most U.S. house price indexes increasing by 2% to 3%. The company expects household formation to increase households by 1.2 million to 1.25 million in 2013, with housing starts reaching an annualized pace of roughly one million by the fourth quarter.
Mortgage rates are anticipated to remain at an all-time low for the first half of 2013, then slowly rise during the second half of the year, although they will remain below 4%, reported Freddie Mac.
On the same day that Fannie Mae released its National Housing Survey, showing increased consumer confidence in the housing industry, Freddie Mac revealed its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for December.
The housing outlook predicts what some of the market features are expected to look like in 2013.
“The last few months have brought a spate of favorable news on the U.S. housing market with construction up, more home sales, and home-value growth turning positive,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac.
Property values are expected to gain strength with most house price indexes increasing as much as 3% next year.
Housing starts are expected to jump to a net 1.20 to 1.25 million household increase in 2013, with starts up around the 1 million annualized pace by the fourth quarter.
“This has been a big change from a year ago, when some analysts worried that the looming ‘shadow inventory’ would keep the housing sector mired in an economic depression. Instead, the housing market is healing, is contributing positively to GDP and is returning to its traditional role of supporting the economic recovery,” said Nothaft.