U.S. housing market to hit bottom in the spring: Freddie Mac

U.S. housing prices will hit bottom this spring and begin to rise again next year, Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said yesterday during a presentation at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando. According to Reuters, attendance at the show this year was half what it was in the years between 2005 and 2008. Nothaft said he drew on historically low mortgage rates, slight declines in unemployment and delinquencies and an uptick in durable goods purchases to make his housing market forecast. Particularly hard-hit markets like Florida, Nevada and California may be the exceptions to that optimistic outlook, though, he added. Meanwhile, new housing starts are also expected to rise nationwide — by 20 to 21 percent — this year, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Home Builders said yesterday. “Twenty percent may sound like a really big increase, but keep in mind it comes off a very low base,” Nothaft said. [Reuters]

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