Page 37 - Network Magazine Winter 2019
P. 37

        Sturtevant discussed the importance of homeownership on a social level - how homeowners tend to be in better physical and mental health and have greater opportunity for economic self-sufficiency. Additionally, communities with more homeowners tend to be more economically prosperous and better able to attract and retain workers.
"I am a researcher, not an advocate; but the results of my research have compelled me to see the importance of affordable, stable housing, and the positive economic impact to local communities," said Sturtevant.
Looking to next year, Yun shared his forecast for home sales and median home prices. "The forecast for home sales will be very boring - meaning stable," said Yun.
With a few months of data remaining in 2018, Yun estimates that existing-home sales will finish at a pace of 5.345 million—a decrease from 2017 (5.51 million). In 2019, sales are forecasted to increase to 5.4 million, a 1 percent increase.
The national median existing-home price is expected to rise to around $266,800 in 2019 (up 3.1 percent from 2018 this year and $274,000 in 2020. "Home price apprecia- tion will slow down - the days of easy price gains are coming to an end - but prices will continue to rise."
All of these forecasts, however, are dependent on higher levels of home production. "All indications are that we have a housing shortage. If you look at population growth and job growth, it is clear that we are not producing enough houses.”
Commenting on the overall health of the U.S. economy, Yun noted that the economy is "good." He noted that
we have low unemployment, record high job openings, historically low jobless claims, job additions for eight straight years and wages beginning to increase. "This type of activity in the economy should support the housing market, even as interest rates rise," said Yun.
* National data provided by the National Association of Real- tors® and Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research

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