By Michael Dabaie

 

Freddie Mac (FMCC) said Thursday it sees modest mortgage-market growth in 2019 buoyed by lower mortgage interest rates.

The mortgage-finance company expects single-family mortgage originations to increase 2.6% to $1.69 trillion in 2019 and remain around that level in 2020, Chief Economist Sam Khater said in Freddie's February forecast.

Freddie revised up its forecast of the refinance share of originations to 27% in 2019 and 24% in 2020.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate is expected to average 4.6% in 2019, matching 2018, Freddie said, before increasing to 4.9% in 2020.

Freddie said it sees total housing starts increasing to 1.29 million units in 2019 and further to 1.36 million units in 2020, well below long-run demand.

Due to lower mortgage rates, Freddie expects total home sales to slowly regain momentum, increasing to 6.10 million in 2019 and to 6.12 million in 2020.

 

Write to Michael Dabaie at michael.dabaie@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 28, 2019 14:11 ET (19:11 GMT)

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