Home sales are on track to outperform last year, even though the market doesn’t have the benefit of the home buyer tax credit. This is thanks to sustained economic growth, the slowly recovering jobs picture, and historically high affordability conditions, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told a packed room on Thursday during the Residential Economic Update at the 2011 REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings.
Although unemployment remains high at about 9 percent, the country is seeing steady job growth. More than 100,000 jobs are being created a month, and the U.S. could see 1.5 million net new jobs this year, Yun said.
Frank Nothaft, chief economist for secondary mortgage market company Freddie Mac, who spoke later at the same session, said he expects a bit more robust job growth, closer to 2 million, but both economists said the unemployment rate will remain high despite the new jobs because of the size of the hole that needs to be filled. More than 8 million jobs were lost during the 2008-09 recession, and new entrants to the labor force, such as recent college graduates, add another 2 million to the hole.
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