At the end of last year, the housing market looked like it might stall. Higher home prices and rising mortgage rates were making affordability conditions more challenging for buyers, especially first-time buyers and those looking for a suitable starter home. Since then, though, things have taken a turn for the better. The number of homes available to buyers has risen, which has caused prices to moderate somewhat. Additionally, mortgage rates have come back down and don’t look like they’re going to rise significantly any time soon. In fact, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group, there is no expectation the Fed will raise rates again this year, or next. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, says that’s one of a combination of factors helping market conditions right now. “We revised upward our 2019 purchase and refinance mortgage origination forecasts amid continued strong demand and a boost to entry-level inventory, the pullback in mortgage rates, and slowing home price appreciation,” Duncan said. In other words, things are trending in the right direction for buyers and improving the outlook for the overall market. More here.