According to Freddie Mac’s March Outlook, the housing market is poised to have its best year since 2006. The optimistic forecast is based on the belief that an improved job market – combined with low mortgage rates and a growing number of housing starts – will help boost sales this year and build momentum for 2017. “Housing markets are poised for their best year in a decade,” Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said. “In our latest forecast, total home sales, housing starts, and house prices will reach their highest levels since 2006. Low mortgage rates, robust job growth and a gradual increase in housing supply will help drive housing markets forward. Low levels of inventory for-sale and for-rent and declining housing affordability will be major challenges, but on balance the nation’s housing markets should sustain their momentum from 2015 into 2016 and 2017.” According to the outlook, Freddie Mac expects housing starts to increase this year, which will help slow down the rate at which home prices have been increasing. In fact, the outlook says annual house price appreciation will be 4.8 percent in 2016. In 2015, it was about 6 percent. More here.