According to Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group, an uncertain job market and weakened consumer spending have slowed economic growth after a strong first quarter. But, despite the slowdown, the housing market continues to show improvement. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, said housing continues to be a bright spot as news from the housing market has been relatively upbeat, presenting a rare upside boost to the economy. Home sales are up 9.0 percent above last year and single-family housing starts are nearly 20 percent higher than the year before. Also, residential investment is expected to contribute to economic growth for the first time since 2005. These encouraging statistics combined with low mortgage rates and high affordability have led to a larger percentage of polled consumers who say they’d prefer to buy their next home in recent surveys. More here.