According to Freddie Mac’s most recent U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook, first-quarter economic data contains many encouraging signs for the general economy and housing market. Early estimates say the economy grew at 2.2 percent during the first quarter, which is slower than the previous quarter but an improvement over three of the past four quarters. Residential fixed investment, which reflects new housing construction and remodeling expenses, has grown in each of the past four quarters. Also, home prices have bottomed in many markets and, along with the lowest mortgage rates in more than 60 years, contribute to extraordinary affordability conditions for buyers. Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s vice president and chief economist, said the first-quarter data is not uniformly positive but shows the macroeconomy and housing recovery are headed in the right direction. More here and here.