The economy may be showing signs of slowing lately, but the housing market is likely to keep its positive momentum rolling, writes Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, in a new column for Forbes. In fact, he predicts that it will be housing market gains that enable the overall economy to avoid a recession.
Indeed home sales, construction, and prices have all been rising and are expected to continue to increase. Over the last year, existing-home sales have risen 7.9 percent; new-home sales are up 17.7 percent; housing starts have risen 12 percent; and the median price of sold homes is up 6.4 percent (all along on a year-to-date basis).
The main reason behind the gains is a rising population, Yun notes. At the turn of the century about 282 million people were living in the United States, but that number has jumped to 322 million today. Taking into account births and deaths and international immigration, about 2 to 3 million additional residents arrive in America every year.
“As long as Americans believe in the American Dream of steadily moving up the economic ladder – from renting to a starter-home to a better home to eventually a retirement comfort home – there are plenty of legs in America that will be moving around in the upcoming years to further boost the housing market,” Yun writes.
Source: “Housing Will Still Expand Despite Economic Weakness,” Forbes (Oct. 26, 2015)