As consumers nationwide report of heightened confidence associated with developments in the housing market, real estate industry professionals may also be experiencing an increased sense of safety and soundness. Steady mortgage rate averages and rising home prices, coupled with recent gains in construction employment, could point toward the continued recovery.
As reported in Freddie Mac's April 2013 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook, a considerable amount of progress has been seen in recent months, although there is much growth that still needs to be observed as the economy returns to healthy levels of operation. For example, while advancements have been made in concentrated areas of the national labor market, the unemployment rate remains at a high level.
"Until aggregate unemployment decreases substantially we will not experience robust growth. Construction employment is showing signs of life, which should help to improve the overall macroeconomic picture," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. "Housing construction is starting to pick up, but is well below historical averages. Supported by low mortgage rates we expect more homes to be built in 2013 than in any year since 2007. This increased construction employment should continue to help bring down the overall unemployment rate."
Last month yield substantial year-over-year improvement
Though additional improvement is sought, many aspects of the housing market are already posting promising figures. During March, housing starts were up 47 percent on an annual basis, and surpassed the one-million mark for the first time in almost five years. In addition, the pace of construction growth has been showing real signs of acceleration recently - accounting for 8 percent of all job gains in the last year. Within the past six months alone, increases in construction employment represented 15 percent of total job growth nationwide.
Representatives of the government sponsored entity also offered their predictions within the monthly report, which includes the projection the total number of homes built this year will mark the fastest pace since 2007.
Consumers also optimistic for future housing increases
In addition to real estate experts, American consumers are also reporting a substantial amount of positivity regarding the national residential sector. According to Gallup's latest annual Economy and Personal Finance survey, residents of the Western and Southern regions have noted increased expectations for local property records to see home values appreciate.
In the West, 62 percent of citizens are projecting heightened housing prices, along with 48 percent of individuals in the South. As conditions continue to improve - and benefit both buyers and sellers - these expectations may be met.