Fannie Mae: While economic activity is sluggish, the housing market continues to improve

The U.S. economy is in a precarious position right now, with the fiscal cliff looming overhead and the East Coast continuing to deal with the damages brought on by Hurricane Sandy. One particularly bright spot, however, is the state of the housing market.

In a press release published on December 18, mortgage lending giant Fannie Mae focused on the state of the economy and what people can expect leading into the new year.

Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group found that in spite of significant economic growth in the third quarter, the fourth quarter hasn't been so positive. The lending giant's Chief Economist Doug Duncan said that as we finish out the year, he expects that the pace will remain sluggish.

The housing market, however, appears to be gaining momentum – further evidence that we are in the midst of a recovery. According to Duncan, mortgage rates are expected to remain low while home sales are set to increase 8 percent. As people begin to find employment and gain more confidence in the economy overall, experts say they'll be more likely to make large purchases and investments.

"The housing market has stayed resilient and continues to show signs of a strong, sustained recovery," Duncan said. "Mortgage rates remain close to historic lows and home sales and home prices are trending positively. For the first time since 2005, residential investment is poised to contribute to annual economic growth this year, albeit on a small scale."

As the housing recovery continues, lenders ought to think about investing in loan management software, which helps to ensure that borrowers can stay on top of their monthly payments.