The U.S. Housing Market is Picking Up Steam as the New Year Unfolds
It seems like 2020 could be a big year for home builders. The U.S. market closed out the last month of 2019 with the highest level of new housing projects since 2006. The surge of home starts was even higher than what economists had predicted – by a decent margin. Economists point to the stable job market and low mortgage rates among the factors contributing to this growth. As we head into the new year, buyers and builders alike are optimistic as the market gains momentum.
How Much Growth, and What Does That Mean?
So, the last month of 2019 saw the highest rate of home groundbreakings in 13 years. How much is it actually growing? According to Bloomberg economists:
- Single-family homebuilding has risen 11.2%
- Residential home groundbreakings rose 16.9% (the biggest in three years)
- Homebuilding permits rose to 3.9% at the end of 2019
The rise of single-family housing is particularly important because this segment has the largest share of the housing market. An 11.2% increase is higher than the U.S. has seen since 2007! And what does all this mean? More homes (often entry-level or “starter” homes) are coming to the market, bringing in new homebuyers and possibly converting renters.
Good News: Rates Are Likely Staying Low
Of course, mortgage rates and housing prices play a critical factor in the market’s growth. When mortgage payments stay affordable, more people can afford to buy a home. There’s good news on that front for 2020: Keeping in line with 2019’s low rates, 2020 is expected to see 30-year fixed mortgage rates around the 3.8% mark. This could lead to more renters making the leap to buying a home.
Optimism is growing along with the housing market, which is rising alongside a stable job market and low mortgage rates. Groundbreakings have surged at the start of this new year, prospective homebuyers and renters are taking advantage of the low mortgage rates, and the market is looking good. If you’re looking to buy a new home in 2020, keep an eye on rates and new developments in the coming months.