The economy and housing market started the year off slow before picking up mid-year. Now, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group, economic activity is slowing down from its mid-year surge and returning to a more sustainable pace. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, said – though consumers remain somewhat conservative and reluctant to take on significant credit and mortgage debt – strengthening employment numbers, growing household income, and improved confidence should eventually drive stronger consumption. According to Duncan, the housing market will continue to grind its way upward into next year, though Fannie Mae doesn’t expect a breakout year in 2015. Among their forecasts, they believe that home purchase activity will outpace refinance activity in the next year and housing starts, home sales, and home price trends will continue to make modest gains. Duncan says that mortgage activity in 2015 should be very similar to what it was in 2014. More here.