Housing market fundamentals have been relatively steady, for some time now. Mortgage rates have been low by historical standards, prices have been rising, and inventory has been down. All three of these factors, combined with a growing economy and stronger job market, have kept the real-estate market in a kind of limbo. While the economy and favorable mortgage rates have helped drive buyer demand, there have also been fewer homes for sale, which helps push prices upward. In other words, there are a lot of positives but there are also challenges. Freddie Mac economist, Leonard Kiefer, says this year’s market will likely continue along the same path – though he predicts some improvement. “Income growth should remain positive, but not enough to offset the other factors affecting home buyer affordability,” Kiefer wrote in a recent article. “We’re expecting that interest rates will remain low, but gradually move higher. Housing construction should gradually pick up, helping to supply more homes to inventory-starved markets. More housing supply and modestly higher rates will lead to a moderation in house price growth.” More here.