The newly enacted tax law will likely spur job and economic growth and keep single-family housing production on a gradual upward trajectory in 2018, according to NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz, who offered his forecast in a panel discussion during the recent International Builders Show in Orlando.
“We expect that tax reform will boost GDP growth to 2.6% in 2018, and this added economic activity will also bode well for housing, although there will be some transition effects in high-tax jurisdictions,” Dietz said. “Ongoing job creation, wage increases and tight existing home inventory will also boost the housing market in the year ahead.”
Dietz offered this forecast:
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will average 4.31% in 2018 and 4.82 in 2019.
- 1.21 million total housing starts in 2018 and overall production to grow an additional 2.7% to 1.25 million units in 2019.
- Single-family starts to rise 5% in 2018 to 893,000 units and increase an additional 5% to 940,000 next year.
- Multifamily starts to edge 1.6% lower this year to 354,000 units. This is a sustainable level due to demographics.
- Residential remodeling activity is expected to register a 7% gain in 2018 over last year.