Each month, Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group releases an updated outlook on the housing market and economy. According to the most recent report, falling unemployment and rising incomes should help the pace of the housing recovery shift gears in the months ahead. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, said things should pick up this year after an uneven and disappointing 2014. “Our forecast calls for a number of factors, including strong hiring and income growth, stabilized housing affordability, and modestly easing lending standards, to translate into improving housing demand throughout the year,” Duncan said. “We continue to anticipate that the Fed will begin to hike short-term interest rates later this year, although weak global economic growth and geopolitical headwinds will likely limit the rise in long-term interest rates. We expect total home sales to increase by approximately 6 percent for 2015, with total single-family mortgage production climbing to approximately $1.2 trillion.” Fannie Mae also expects economic growth to improve from last year’s pace, in addition to boosted consumer confidence and increased personal spending. More here.