Each month, Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group updates their outlook for the housing market and the broader economy. According to the most recent release, the group still expects the economy to pick up from a slow first quarter but they’ve adjusted their forecast for annual growth downward. Despite the change, however, Fannie Mae sees positive momentum in the housing market. “We also are seeing positive developments in the housing space, supporting our forecast of moderate but broad-based improvement in 2015 compared to last year,” Fannie Mae’s chief economist Doug Duncan said. “Purchase mortgage applications have moved up consistently for a couple of months, and while refinance applications have recently pulled back, the actual volume of both purchase and refinance originations earlier in the year came in stronger than we had projected.” Because of this, the group has raised their forecast for total mortgage originations this year. Overall, their forecast reflects a general optimism about the residential real estate market that began late last year and has continued through the spring selling season. Early numbers suggest that, though there is still some volatility in home sales, this spring is off to a stronger start than last year. More here.