As the spring home buying season approaches, there are many moving parts analysts and experts look at to determine how home buyers and sellers might fare. Economic growth, the job market, interest rates, home prices, buyer demand, and inventory are just some of the factors that will determine how many hopeful home buyers find new homes this year. According to one outlook – from Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group – conditions are good for buyers, except for one specific, long-standing obstacle. “We don’t expect rates to play much of a role in total home sales, especially with anticipated stronger disposable household income growth,” Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, said. “The ongoing inventory shortages should constrain sales despite otherwise ripe home buying conditions.” In other words, though mortgage rates may inch upward this year, so will household income. That leaves inventory as the main challenge to buyers this spring. With fewer homes for sale, there will be more competition and pressure on prices. More here.