The housing market and economy are tied together in many ways. After all, without a strong economy and consistent job growth, people generally don’t feel good enough about their financial prospects to consider buying a house. But though one affects the other, they aren’t always moving in the same direction at the same time. Take Fannie Mae’s most recent Economic and Housing Outlook from their Economic & Strategic Research Group. The group’s monthly forecast takes a look at how the economy and housing market are doing and what prospects look like for the future. According to their most recent release, the economy is performing better than expected and has caused them to increase their forecast for economic growth this year. But though that’s definitely good news, it is dampened by the fact that – while Americans are feeling economically confident – too few homes for sale have caused the housing market to soften. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, says there are a number of issues holding housing back. “Housing still remains a drag on the economy, as shortages of labor and available lots, coupled with rising building material prices, further complicate existing inventory, affordability, and sales challenges.” More here.