Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Housing Boom to Roll on for Years

By David S. Jones, Real Estate Center

Surely you’ve heard about the housing boom. It’s been in all the newspapers.

At the beginning of the 20th century, less than half of all Americans owned their own homes. Today, low interest rates have pushed homeownership rates to a record 68 percent, and that figure is still climbing. Experts say it will exceed 70 percent by 2013.

Millions more new homeowners are coming down the road. As many as 1.63 million new households could be formed every year for the next decade. That translates to 2.17 million new homes needed annually.

Most of the new homes — 72 percent — will be conventionally built, single-family dwellings. Multifamily units will account for nearly one-fifth, and manufactured homes will take up the slack.

These new waves of homebuyers will find homes cost more than they do today. No surprise there. Prices should appreciate an average of 5 percent per year from 2004 to 2013. And in those places where land-use restrictions and regulations reduce the amount of land available for new homes, homebuyers could rise an average of 6 percent annually.

In a new report, “America’s Home Forecast: The Next Decade for Housing and Mortgage Finance,” six noted economists look at housing in the years ahead. They paint a picture of a housing sector continuing to drive the economy, creating millions of jobs and generating billions of dollars in wages and tax revenues each year.

Ten years from now, experts say 24 million more homebuyers will be enjoying their first homes. In the coming decade, America’s families could need 125 million mortgage loans for home purchase or refinancing. That’s some $27 trillion in mortgage originations.

At the end of last year, America’s homes had a whopping market value of $15.2 trillion, the most ever. That’s one-third higher than it was just three years ago. At the same time, equity in American homes reached $8.4 trillion.

“The dramatic strength of the housing sector in recent years clearly was fueled by historically low interest rates, strong increases in house values and very positive demographic trends,” notes the report. “In the spring of 2004, the overall economic expansion appears to be gaining more strength and better balance, and interest rates are bound to move up to some degree as the U.S. economy grows at an above-trend rate and as slack in labor markets is reduced in the process.”

The authors of the report do, however, see some challenges that need prompt attention. They see increasingly stringent land-use controls pushing up house prices, impairing affordability in some areas. Also, increasing strains on the long-term federal budget may threaten programs that provide affordable rental housing for low-income households.

Some worry that proposed regulations could impair the secondary mortgage market. Also, an increasingly diverse population will challenge homebuilders, real estate professionals and the housing finance sector to meet differing expectations and needs of a growing number of foreign-born households.

Lastly, the report’s authors are concerned about the “glaring and persistent gap” between homeownership rates for non-Hispanic white households and racial and ethnic minorities.

2 Comments:

At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People should step away from the banks and keep some of their valuables secure in a an Office Safe or Sentry Safe

 
At 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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