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Housing and Economic Research

Original research and analysis on housing trends, the economy and the mortgage market

  • Refinance Trends in 2020

    This past year was a busy year for the mortgage market. While the economy was in recession, record low mortgage interest rates contributed to refinance activity reaching near record highs. Many borrowers saved thousands of dollars by lowering their mortgage rate through refinances. This Research Note highlights some of the key trends defining refinance mortgage activity in 2020. More

  • Mortgage Forbearance and Performance during the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    During the COVID-19 crisis, mortgage forbearance plans have played an important role in helping households manage their finances by providing short-term liquidity to mortgage borrowers. Mortgage forbearance plans temporarily remove the obligation of borrowers to make their monthly mortgage payment. More

  • U.S. Population Growth: Where is housing demand strongest?

    What is the main driver of demand for housing in the United States? The answer is simple: people. The American population is a diverse group with multifaceted and individualistic housing needs. More

  • Quarterly Forecast: Housing Market Continues to Perform Strongly Primarily Driven by Historically Low Mortgage Rates

    It’s been close to a year since the pandemic began, and economic growth continues to remain uncertain. The availability of a COVID-19 vaccine and its widespread distribution should steer the economy towards recovery, but the timelines remain unknown. The labor market has recovered from the lows it reached in April of last year but continues to be weak. As of mid-December of 2020, jobless claims were still around 20 million, remaining well above the pre-pandemic levels. The unemployment rate was 6.7% in December with more permanent job losses and less labor force participation signaling a slowdown in the current labor market recovery. More

  • Mortgage Forbearance Rates during the COVID-19 Crisis

    Bob and Jane purchased their home three years ago. Now, in the midst of the pandemic, Jane is furloughed from her job as a purchasing manager, and Bob is working fewer hours as a mechanic. They are wondering how long their savings will last. Postponing mortgage payments would make their reserves hold out a lot longer. More

Opinions, estimates, forecasts, and other views contained in this document are those of Freddie Mac's Economic & Housing Research group, do not necessarily represent the views of Freddie Mac or its management, and should not be construed as indicating Freddie Mac's business prospects or expected results. Although the Economic & Housing Research group attempts to provide reliable, useful information, it does not guarantee that the information or other content in this document is accurate, current or suitable for any particular purpose. All content is subject to change without notice. All content is provided on an “as is” basis, with no warranties of any kind whatsoever. Information from this document may be used with proper attribution. Alteration of this document or its content is strictly prohibited. ©2021 by Freddie Mac.