Nationwide economic growth is projected to increase to 2.9 percent from the estimated 2.6 percent growth in 2013, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group reports. This increase can be attributed the return of consumer confidence following the government shutdown last fall, which affected hard working men and women across numerous industries. With rebounded optimism, an increase in both consumer and business spending is expected to boost overall economic growth throughout 2014.
A significant driving force contributing to economic growth, according to Fannie Mae’s Chief Economist Doug Duncan, is the continued improvement in the real estate market. RealtyTrac published some encouraging statistics in its most recent Foreclosure Market Report, which recorded a 26 percent decrease in foreclosure fillings from 2012 to 2013. With decreases in foreclosure fillings comes an increase in the strength of consumer housing attitudes, which allows for the continuous improvement of the housing market.
On a local level, as of November 2013, Tampa Bay’s unemployment rate has fallen to 6.2 percent from the shocking 2010 peak of 12.5 percent, according to the Tampa Bay Times. In response to growing demand for goods and services from consumers and businesses, labor market improvements that support income growth are expected to amplify. If income increases can close the gap between home price increases, the affordability of home purchases will rise and the dream of homeownership can become a greater reality for those who had previously thought it was out of reach.