Freddie Mac releases October economic and housing market outlook

Freddie Mac has released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for October, which shows that the multifamily sector is a strong positive signal for the U.S. housing industry.

Highlights of the outlook include:

  • Over the year ending mid-2011, the Census Bureau reported a net increase of 1.4 million households that moved into rental housing, a 4 percent rise in the number of tenant households in just one year.
  • The U.S. homeownership rate has fallen about 1.5 percent over the past year, with owner rates falling by 4.4 percent for those under 25 years of age and by 7 percent for those aged 25 to 29 years.
  • Apartment rents, which had been flat to falling in many projects during the 2008-2009 recession, have begun to rise, albeit slowly.
  • New construction starts of apartments in buildings with at least 20 dwellings picked up this year, and in the second quarter, was the highest since the end of 2008.
  • Ten-year constant-maturity Treasury yields averaged 1.98 percent in September, the lowest monthly average since the Federal Reserve’s series began in 1953; these yields are a common benchmark for multifamily mortgage rates, and suggest that mortgage rates fell to new lows for multifamily lending in recent weeks.