Though careful not to say 2015 will be a breakout year for the housing market, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, Doug Duncan, believes the strengthening economy will drag housing activity upward this year. “Strength in the broader economy, accompanied by continued employment growth and meaningful income growth, should contribute to some improvement in housing activity,” Duncan said. The outlook – part of Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group’s monthly forecast – follows a rash of recent gains in both the economy and the residential real estate market. In fact, recent reports have found both existing and new home sales on the rise, in addition to improved construction activity and downward trending mortgage rates. This, combined with consistent job gains, falling gas prices, and the expectation of significant income growth this year, has analysts optimistic about 2015. It also has Americans feeling more confident in their financial situation and prospects. For these reasons, Fannie Mae is forecasting a 5.8 percent spike in home sales this year and a 19 percent improvement in the number of new homes built. According to Duncan, 2015 won’t be a breakout year for the housing market but there should be broad-based improvement following a disappointing and uneven 2014. More here.