Though the economy and housing market have been largely up-and-down this year, Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group is forecasting improvement for 2015. In fact, according to Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, the group anticipates a significant increase in the number of new homes built next year due to stronger employment and improvement in Americans’ household income. Improved employment prospects and rising income is predicted to release pent-up demand to buy homes and, as a result, should help boost home sales in addition to increasing the number of new homes built. And, since new residential construction has historically been a driver of economic activity, increased housing starts should help boost the broader economy as well. In recent years, household income has been relatively flat, which has dampened demand to buy homes and kept the housing market from enjoying a more robust recovery. Duncan says Fannie Mae expects total housing starts to increase by 22 percent in 2015, with total home sales rising 5 percent, and total mortgage originations rising to $1.13 trillion for the year. More here.