During his briefing to our membership last week, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe cited his top 10 list that points to a more robust year for housing in 2015. Below is Dr. Crowe’s top 10 list for 2015:
- Economic growth has improved and was near 4% in the last half of 2014.
- Employment gains are more solid and consistent, averaging more than 250,000 per month in 2014.
- Consumer confidence is growing and back to pre-recession levels.
- Significant pent up demand is building: More than 7 million existing home sales have been postponed or lost since the housing downturn.
- Home owners’ equity is rising and up in the past three years.
- Household balance sheets are returning to normal.
- Household income is rising and up over the past three years.
- Mortgage availability is improving: administration and FHFA have taken steps.
- Mortgage rates are near historic lows: Some are below 4%.
- Inventory of available homes is increasing: New homes are up 45%, existing homes are up 16%.
The signs show that the housing recovery should move to higher ground in 2015. Dr. Crowe expects single-family starts to increase 24% to 803,000, up from a preliminary 647,000 in 2014. Multifamily construction will level off at 365,000 up slightly from a preliminary 357,000 in 2014. Real remodeling expenditures will return to a positive year with an expected 3% rise in 2015.