Markets & Economy

Housing ‘remains the weakest link’ in the economic recovery

Fannie Mae economists say housing won't return to normal until late 2016

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Fannie Mae economists are optimistic in a report out today that the economy is poised for growth again after stalling out in the first three months of the year, but housing "remains the weakest link" and "there is a lot of concern over the near-term health of the housing sector." Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan thinks that improving financial and labor market conditions should contribute to a rebound, with economic growth in April, May and June accelerating to an annual rate of 3 percent. The outlook for housing "remains more worrisome, with existing-home sales, new-home sales, housing starts and multifamily housing all experiencing year-over-year declines despite improving consumer attitudes," Duncan said in a statement. "However, we anticipate a modest uptick in housing activity as the spring and summer selling and building seasons get under way." When does Fannie Mae expect housing to get back to normal levels? Brace yourself: "Sometime in late 2016." In the first...