State & National Updates
January 4, 2018
Builders Start the New Year Filled with Optimism
Confidence among builders at the end of 2017 reached its highest measure in more than 18 years. Much of that optimism is due to tight existing home inventory, a solid economy with low unemployment, and an improving policy environment that offers hope for reduced regulatory burdens.
Census estimates of home construction also helped fuel the rise in builder confidence. By November, single-family starts were up 9% on a year-to-date basis, and sales of new single-family homes had increased 17.5% from the month prior — reaching the fastest sales pace in more than 10 years. Growth for residential construction is expected to continue, as a growing share of new homes are being sold from the "not under construction" class.
However, supply-side headwinds will continue to hamper housing in 2018, as will the tight labor market and rising prices for materials. The Federal Reserve will continue to increase interest rates, which will slowly reduce housing affordability, though that impact will be offset by increases in after-tax income. Some markets — particularly high-tax/high-cost markets in coastal areas — will experience some negative effects due to tax law changes. But from a national perspective, single-family construction will continue to expand.
NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz
Starts and Sales
All regions of the U.S. reported growth, led by a 30% uptick in the Northeast.
Year-end rally leads to the most sales since December 2006.
Single-family construction spending increased to its highest annual rate in a decade.
State-by-state comparisons show Texas atop most lists of permits issued.
The rise in starts aligns with increased builder confidence.
Builders enter year with high hopes for improved regulations.
Every age group saw growth between 2007 and 2012.
NAHB analysis shows more minorities are buying homes.
Several industry experts will offer analyses of what to expect in 2018.
Study finds eight senior positions in home building typically filled by someone with trade experience.
It was the fastest growth rate since the first quarter of 2015.
Disposable income rose for three consecutive months.
Home building and remodeling component held steady.
Price appreciation continues to impact housing affordability.