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Fannie Mae: Housing activity to remain level for foreseeable future

Nov 25, 2011 Walt Wojoiechowski

Third- and fourth-quarter housing and employment activity appear to be in positive territory, according to a survey released last week by the Fannie Mae Economics and Mortgage Market Analysis Group. Overall, economists maintain that a double-dip recession in unlikely, adding that while activity will continue to improve through 2012{,} it will be at a continued slow pace. "Despite a small numerical pickup in housing activity, the housing market continues to be essentially flat and we do not expect the recent uptick to be a sustained trend," said Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan. "Consumer sentiment is in a holding pattern at depressed levels. In turn, the likelihood of positive developments in the housing market remains a concern." The U.S. housing market has been in decay since before the recession began, and continued foreclosure and bankruptcy activity have prompted a number of analysts, including those surveyed by FICO, to project continued housing market woes through the rest of this decade. More generally, any sustained economic growth will depend on gains in employment and consumer activity, the Fannie Mae report added.