Housing forecast, home maintenance tips


Staff Report



Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group Forecasts Conservative Growth in Housing for 2017

Despite a strong year-end performance by the stock market and a post-election jump in confidence among consumers and businesses, limited information on the new Administration’s potential economic policies led to a conservative 2017 growth projection of 2.0 percent, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group’s January 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

Improved consumer spending in the third quarter drove a slight upward revision from the prior forecast; moreover, a friendly labor market and rising household wealth should continue to support consumers. Business fixed investment is expected to pick up – particularly in the equipment space – as the drag from declining oil prices faded and should add to 2017 growth. Additionally, government spending and inventory investment are expected to add to growth this year, while the dollar should continue to weigh heavily on net exports. Mortgage rates are predicted to rise gradually in the coming year, ultimately reaching a fourth quarter average of 4.3 percent. There is risk that rates could rise faster and higher than forecasted, but the impact on housing could be offset by strengthened income growth.

“Policy changes under the new Administration – in its nature, sequencing, and magnitude – will determine the direction of economic growth in 2017,” says Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “Incoming data suggest improving consumer spending, diminished labor market slack, and advancements in wages, but until we can more clearly read the political tea leaves, it’s difficult to say whether this late-cycle expansion will continue into its eighth year.”

4 Tips for Organizing Your Home Maintenance Routine

Staying on top of all the things you need to do to keep your home well maintained can seem like a challenge sometimes. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be a monumental chore. Here are four tips on how you can keep yourself on track.

Learn What Needs Maintaining

The first step to keeping your house in good repair is to learn what kinds of things need doing. Find a good online list of home maintenance tasks, and figure out which ones apply to your particular home. From there, you can start to get an idea of the costs and materials associated with keeping things up.

Make a Calendar

Once you have a solid list of maintenance tasks for your new home, you’ll need to arrange the items in a way that will help you track how often you will need to perform each task. Put it up in a common area, and make sure to mark all of the dates for maintenance clearly.

Use Your Electronics

Of course, modern electronics offer multiple ways to help you organize your life. You can use calendar and reminder apps for your smart devices to replace or supplement your physical calendar if you want. Having a monthly reminder pop up telling you what kind of cleaning and maintenance duties are due at your home is helpful as far as reminding you, though it can be a bit too easy to simply flick the remainder away when it goes off.

Put Money Aside

Maintenance isn’t free, unfortunately, and one common cause of putting off what needs to be done is a lack of money when it needs doing. It’s all too easy to tell yourself you’ll just wait a week for some cash to free itself up. To prevent this, set aside a fund for home repair and maintenance tasks, and avoid using it for anything other than a true emergency.

Home maintenance is not always fun, but it prevents bigger problems down the line. Spending some time now on keeping things up will pay off in the future.

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Staff Report