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Sluggish Mortgage, Housing Recovery Keeps Notary Signing Agents Waiting

Bull MBA Forecast 1-15-14

As the saying goes, “Don’t quit your day job.” For NSAs, that means continuing to look for general Notary work because the most recent economic forecasts indicate that the mortgage and housing markets will continue to struggle for the rest of the year before improving slightly in 2015.

The bright spot? Total housing starts in July reached their highest level in more than six years, but that was largely due to a surge in the construction of rental units, said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft in his September 2014 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook.

Nothaft said the single-family housing market was “stuck in low gear.”

That perspective is supported by the Mortgage Bankers Association, which has steadily lowered its expectations for 2014. It’s forecast in December 2013 projected that mortgage lending this year would total $1,174 trillion. Its most recent forecast has lowered that estimate to barely $1 trillion after mortgage originations in the first half of the year fell far short of expectations.

Equally disappointing, total home sales for 2014 are expected to fall short of initial projections by nearly 9.2 percent. In fact, most economists predict that home sales this year fail to meet the tally for 2013.

Will 2015 Bring A Recovery?

The underwhelming performance of the mortgage and housing markets this year have caused forecasts for 2015 to be downgraded.

However, experts remain cautiously optimistic that the market will improve in 2015. According to the MBA, total mortgage lending should increase 12.2 percent over this year while home sales should rise by 7.8 percent.

Consumers continue to be a complicating factor. According to Fannie Mae’s August 2014 National Housing Survey, respondents who believe it is a good time to buy a house fell for the second straight month — to 64 percent — matching the all-time low. Those who believe it is a good time to sell also decreased — to 38 percent.

While Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan expects the housing and mortgage markets to improve in 2015, “it will not be a breakout year.”

Michael Lewis is Managing Editor of member publications for the National Notary Association.

Additional Resources

Notary Business: Six Ways To Earn Extra Money

Growing Your Notary Business With Craigslist


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