>> In a revised forecast released on Feb. 18, Freddie Mac, McLean, Virginia, raised its total residential origination volume for 2015 to $1.3 trillion--up from $1.2 trillion in its January forecast.
In the new forecast, the company also lowered its projection for first-quarter economic growth to 2.5 percent from 3.0 percent in January. It also lowered its growth forecast for all of this year to 2.9 percent.
The forecast revised downward expectations for 30-year fixed mortgage rates for the year to 3.9 percent compared with 4.2 percent in the January forecast.
Forecasts for 2015 home sales (5.6 million) and housing starts (1.18 million) remained unchanged in the February forecast.
Stronger home-price gains were also included in the revised February forecast. The new forecast calls for home prices to increase by 3.9 percent this year. That was up from 3.5 percent in the prior month's forecast.
Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist, commented, "Despite the fact the yield curve has flattened, we remain optimistic about the...