Here are Freddie Mac's five housing predictions for 2016

Prognostications on interest rates, house prices and more

crystal ball

With just a few days left in 2015, Freddie Mac is looking towards 2016 and trying to predict just what’s going to happen in housing over the next 12 months.

Freddie Mac is already on the record stating that it doesn’t think mortgage interest rate will increase immensely in 2016, despite the Federal Open Market Committee recent announcement that it is raising the federal funds rate for the first time since June 2006.

In the wake of that announcement, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Sean Becketti, said that interest rates should remain at “historically low levels” throughout 2016, in spite of whatever moves the Federal Reserve is expected to make.

Here are five more housing predictions for 2016, courtesy of Freddie Mac:

  • Expect the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to average below 4.5% for 2016 on an annualized basis
  • Gradually higher mortgage interest rates will present an affordability challenge, but expect a strengthening labor market and pent-up demand to carry 2015's home sales momentum into 2016
  • Expect house price growth to moderate a bit to 4.4% in 2016 driven in part by the reduction in homebuyer affordability and reduced demand as a result of Fed tightening
  • Housing activity will grow in 2016 despite monetary tightening. Expect total housing starts to increase 16% year-over-year and total home sales to increase 3%
  • While home purchases will increase next year, higher interest rates will reduce the refinance volume pushing overall mortgage originations lower in 2016 than in 2015


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