Friday, November 25, 2016

First Look: 2017 Housing Forecasts

by Bill McBride on 11/25/2016 08:11:00 AM

Towards the end of each year I collect some housing forecasts for the following year.  It looks like analysts are optimistic on New Home sales for 2017, although that might change with higher mortgage rates and policy changes.  I'll post updates as the forecasts change (and add more forecasts soon).

First a review of the previous four years ...

Here is a summary of forecasts for 2016. In 2016, new home sales will probably be around 565 thousand, and total housing starts will be around 1.175 million.  Fannie Mae and Merrill Lynch were very close on New Home sales, and MetroStudy was close on starts.

Here is a summary of forecasts for 2015. In 2015, new home sales were 501 thousand, and total housing starts were 1.112 million.  Zillow, CoreLogic, and the MBA were right on with New Home sales, and CoreLogic, MetroStudy, MBA and Zillow were all correct on starts.

Here is a summary of forecasts for 2014. In 2014, new home sales were 437 thousand, and total housing starts were 1.003 million. No one was close on New Home sales (all way too optimistic), and Michelle Meyer (Merrill Lynch) and Fannie Mae were the closest on housing starts (about 10% too high). In 2014, many analysts underestimated the impact of higher mortgage rates and higher new home prices on new home sales and starts.

Here is a summary of forecasts for 2013. In 2013, new home sales were 429 thousand, and total housing starts were 925 thousand.  Barclays was the closest on New Home sales followed by David Crowe (NAHB).  Fannie Mae and the NAHB were the closest on housing starts.

The table below shows a few forecasts for 2017:

From Fannie Mae: Housing Forecast: November 2016

From NAHB: NAHB’s housing and economic forecast

From Wells Fargo: Monthly Economic Outlook

From NAR: U.S. Economic Outlook: November 2016

Note: For comparison, new home sales in 2016 will probably be around 565 thousand, and total housing starts around 1.175 million.

Housing Forecasts for 2017
New Home Sales (000s)Single Family Starts (000s)Total Starts (000s)House Prices1
Fannie Mae6718831,3084.8%2
Merrill Lynch

1,225
NAHB6478731,258
NAR6238381,2214.2%3
Wells Fargo

1,180
1Case-Shiller unless indicated otherwise
2FHFA Purchase-Only Index
3NAR Median Prices