Freddie Mac predicts slow improvements in 2012

The multifamily sector remains the best aspect of the housing market, according to Freddie Mac's U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for January 2012.

Having accounted for a third of housing starts in recent months, the sector is positioned to take a leading role in what many experts project will be the best construction year since 2008. Recovery of housing sales may be delayed by a significant gap between buyer and seller sentiment, and many Americans continue to display a preference for renting their homes.

Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft notes that a speedy recovery is unlikely this year, which could cause the current state of the housing market to continue. Conditions have been favorable for rental property management businesses and other multifamily sector stakeholders, and may continue to be.

The economy overall is expected to improve somewhat, the report suggests, based on consumer sentiment and projected employment growth. This could be good for the multifamily sector as well, since unemployment can hold back household formation and hamper business.