Posts by Frank E. Nothaft
Frank E. Nothaft is Freddie Mac’s chief economist. Nothaft is responsible for forecasts, research and analysis of the macroeconomy, housing and mortgage markets. He is also involved in affordable lending analysis and policy issues affecting the housing finance industry.
Children on long trips often cry out, "Are we there yet?" Economists and the public at large have been asking the same question about when the recession will end. With economic growth in the third quarter, signs of a stronger fourth quarter, a sharp decrease in monthly job losses, low interest rates and a stabilization of financial markets, the outlook has been improving steadily since early summer.
Even in the housing sector, which was ground zero for many of the economic troubles during the crisis, signs are looking up. Total new and existing home sales have risen 43 percent through November from their January low and home prices have leveled off in many indexes. And while the national figure took a dip in November, single-family construction has begun to ascend in some markets. We should be "there" in the next few months if we aren't already.