Five housing analysts interviewed by RealtyTrac about the market in 2015 expressed optimism about home sales, prices, mortgage rates, and credit availability this year. But, despite their optimistic outlooks, three of the five said the expected improvement was contingent upon further job market gains. For example, Mark Zandi, of Moody’s Analytics, said new and existing home sales are expected to rise as much as 20 percent this year but continued labor market improvement is key. Trulia’s Jed Kolko agrees, adding that young people getting jobs and forming households would be the strongest source of housing demand in the coming year. Kolko, however, believes many of these young Americans will be moving into rental properties while they save for a down payment on a house. On the other hand, Realtor.com’s Jonathan Smoke feels that new lower down payment requirements announced by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should allow more first-time buyers to purchase homes, despite their limited assets. The job market was also key to Lawrence Yun’s forecast. Yun, the National Association of Realtors’ chief economist, believes employment gains will drive housing this year but also feels there will be more buyers bouncing back from distressed property sales and re-entering the market this year. More here.