Markets & Economy

Fannie Mae: Housing ‘remains a source of concern’

Mortgage giant anticipates cooling home price gains as inventory rises

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The pullback in housing demand the market experienced in the first quarter may be behind us, but home sales are still likely to fall this year for the first time in four years, according to a monthly economic outlook released today by economists at Fannie Mae. Existing-home sales fell on a monthly basis in the first three months of the year, rose slightly in April, and jumped nearly 5 percent in May. For the first four months of the year, existing- and new-home sales were down 7 percent and 3 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year, Fannie Mae economists said. "Near-term leading indicators suggest only gradual improvement ahead. Pending home sales ticked up 0.4 percent in April, and purchase mortgage applications have been trending down since early May," they said. Fannie Mae estimates total home sales will come in 1.4 percent lower in 2014, with new-home sales rising 11.3 percent and existing-home sales falling 2.4 percent. That's in line with the ...