Despite the fact that economic growth stalled during the first quarter of the year, the outlook for the remainder of the year has not changed, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group’s April 2016 Economic and Housing Outlook. In fact, the group’s latest forecast calls for a pickup in consumer spending and overall growth during the second quarter. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, says the housing market should also remain steady, despite some challenges. “Our forecast for housing activity, mortgage rates, and mortgage originations are little changed in the April forecast,” Duncan said. “We expect total mortgage originations to decline about 9 percent in 2016 to $1.56 trillion, with a refinance share of 40 percent. Sustained improvement in the labor market and personal incomes among young adults should draw more potential home buyers into the housing market, but many will continue to face affordability challenges. Home price growth has been rising at a faster clip than incomes, and the increasing supply of single-family housing is skewed toward larger and less affordable homes. These factors continue to weigh on housing affordability, particularly for first-time home buyers.” More here.