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State & National Updates

Builders Start the New Year Filled with Optimism

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

New Home Sales Hit Post-Recession High in November

All regions of the U.S. reported growth, led by a 30% uptick in the Northeast.  

Existing Sales Surge in November

Year-end rally leads to the most sales since December 2006.

Private Residential Spending on the Rise

Single-family construction spending increased to its highest annual rate in a decade.

Permit Volume Grows in Most States

State-by-state comparisons show Texas atop most lists of permits issued.

Strong Estimates for Single-Family Starts

The rise in starts aligns with increased builder confidence. 


Industry Insights

Housing Market Primed to Expand in 2018

Builders enter year with high hopes for improved regulations.

Number of Hispanic Construction Business Owners Rises

Every age group saw growth between 2007 and 2012.

Homeownership Rate Increases

NAHB analysis shows more minorities are buying homes.

NAHB Economics Presentations to Attend at IBS

Several industry experts will offer analyses of what to expect in 2018.

Construction Trades Can Often Lead to Higher Paying Jobs

Study finds eight senior positions in home building typically filled by someone with trade experience.

Economic Indicators


Economic Growth Exceeds Potential in 3rd Quarter

It was the fastest growth rate since the first quarter of 2015.

Consumer Spending Up, Savings Rate Down

Disposable income rose for three consecutive months. 

Housing Share of GDP Declined in 3rd Quarter

Home building and remodeling component held steady.

Home Prices Continue to Increase in October

Price appreciation continues to impact housing affordability.