August 2011 U. S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook

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Aug 16, 2011, 13:11 ET from Freddie Mac

MCLEAN, Va., Aug. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) released today its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for August showing that despite the recent ups and downs in the capital markets the likelihood of an extended period of both relatively low short- and long-term interest rates is helpful news for the housing market's recovery as it continues to struggle.

Outlook Highlights

  • Employment was up 117,000, the best showing since April, and the unemployment rate edged down a tenth to 9.1 percent.
  • Over the first half of 2011, growth was figured to be about 0.8 percent at an annual rate, far too weak to generate enough jobs to keep pace with labor force growth.
  • Compared with the first quarter of 2008, borrowers are paying about $130 billion less in mortgage interest today, at an annual rate.
  • The likelihood of an extended period of both relatively low short- and long-term interest rates is helpful news for the housing market's recovery.
  • Interest rates on 15-year fixed-rate loans – always popular for borrowers considering to refinance – reached about 3.5 percent in early August, assuring the refinance boom continues.
  • Freddie Mac House Price Index(SM) for the U.S. shows that prices are down 25 percent, on average, as of June 2011 compared with their peak obtained five years ago.

Click here to view the complete August 2011 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook. Freddie Mac compiles data on major economic and housing and mortgage market indicators and offers forecasts based on those indicators.

Quotes

Attributed to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac, vice president and chief economist.

  • "While the capital markets have experienced sizeable movements up and down in recent weeks, these swings are unlikely to lead to whiplash or hospitalization for individual investors. Heightened uncertainty, unfortunately, can be harmful to the overall economy."

Get the latest information from Freddie Mac's Office of the Chief Economist on Twitter: @FreddieMac

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation's residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible for one in six homebuyers and more than five million renters.

SOURCE Freddie Mac



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