Freddie Mac last week released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for May showing a pick-up in economic growth in the second half of 2011 and a projected 5 percent increase in 2011 home sales over 2010, on a calendar year basis.
Other key findings from the report:
- Over 250,000 new jobs are needed monthly, on a sustained basis, to reabsorb all the jobs lost since the recession.
- Average unemployment duration was 38.3 weeks in April, down slightly from the record of 39 weeks in March.
- The rate of seriously delinquent mortgages (8.6 percent average) will likely trend lower during 2011, but will continue to remain at extraordinarily high levels for an extended period.
- During the first quarter of 2011, home prices decreased by 2.8 percent nationwide.
- Home buyer affordability remains extraordinarily high, mortgage rates low, house prices are well off their cyclic peak, and contract signings for existing home sales are up.
For the full report, visit: http://www.freddiemac.com/news/finance/docs/May_2011_public_outlook.pdf.