Confidence among single-family home builders reached a post-recession high in December, following the election of a new president who promises regulatory relief and increased economic growth. Sales in November also showed positive trends, as new home sales jumped more than 5%—almost 13% higher than the same time last year. Existing home sales also edged up in November, with a four-months' supply of inventory.
New home construction was disappointing in November—down nearly 19% for the month—largely due to an unusual decline for multifamily starts. However, home building in 2016 performed well overall. Single-family starts are up almost 10% for the year, while multifamily starts are down about 4%.
Despite an ongoing scarcity of lots and labor, we anticipate continued growth of residential construction in 2017. Economic growth should also improve next year, compared to the relative weakness experienced in 2016. The full NAHB economic and housing forecast will be unveiled during the NAHB International Builders' Show.
–NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz