According to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group both the housing market and the broader economy are expected to pick up speed after a slow first quarter of the year. Recent improvements in consumer spending, business capital, and employment conditions indicate the economy is gaining strength and should continue to grow during the spring and summer. The housing market, on the other hand, is a mixed picture, with home sales and new construction down from last year’s level despite improvements in Americans’ perceptions and attitudes about the market. But Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, says this year’s housing volatility will likely be nothing more than a bump in the road as residential real estate continues its return to normal. In fact, according to Duncan, there should be an uptick in housing activity as the spring and summer selling and building seasons get under way. More here.