Another positive sign for the housing industry was recently revealed in the Census Bureau’s fourth- quarter homeownership data. Contrary to some analysts’ predictions that the rate would fall to 61% or lower in the coming years, the new estimates indicate it increased from 63.7% in 2016 to 64.2% in 2017. The data also showed six consecutive quarters of gains in the count of home owners, with notable growth among those under the age of 35.
Consistently strong demand is causing home prices to outpace income growth — a trend we expect to diminish in 2018 as tax reform-related shifts take place in some high-cost, high-tax markets. Nonetheless, NAHB expects growth for single-family construction to continue, much like it did last year. Despite a soft reading in December, total new home sales in 2017 rose 8.3% from the previous year.
–NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz