Property data evaluated by Fannie Mae's Economic and Strategic Research Group prompted a positive economic forecast, thanks in part to the healing housing market. The report noted that while the U.S. economy is strengthening, it's not yet back to its full potential, and growth to expected to be contained to under 2 percent for the first half of the year, after which it should pick back up.
"At the outset of the year, we forecasted that 2013 would witness sustainable but below-par growth as the economy begins its transition to more normal levels," said Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. "Halfway through the year, our view is little changed."
Duncan noted that the research group predicted growth through 2013 would be at an average of 2.1 percent, up from the 1.7 percent growth in 2012. The outlook noted that fiscal headwinds have played a big part in the tempering of national economic growth, and now that they're expected to cease, recoveries in the housing market, household wealth and expended energy programs ought to emerge.
"Our forecast calls for growth to push past 2.5 percent in 2014, boosted largely by tailwinds from the strengthening housing market," said Duncan.
The report noted that signs of a healing housing market could be detected by an increase of home sale prices, a higher rate of home sales and home building, and that these indicate a long-term, sustainable improvement in the economy.
Housing market in Texas gaining speed
Meanwhile, the housing market in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas is becoming crowded as more consumers are looking to buy homes before interest rates experience further increase, according to Fort Worth, Texas news outlet WFAA. Texas Realtor Bob Edmonson reported seeing as many as six buyers compete for one home, and that some homes were sold within a span of 24 hours on the market.
Currently there are 2,144 foreclosed houses in Dallas and 2,327 in the Fort Worth area, according to RealtyTrac. The median non-foreclosure sale price in Fort Worth and Dallas were both just over $20,000, whereas the sale price of foreclosed homes was just under $80,000. April's home sales in Dallas were up 14 percent from the prior month, while home sales in the Fort Worth area were down 6 percent from March to April.