Tuesday, November 07, 2017

First Look: 2018 Housing Forecasts

by Bill McBride on 11/07/2017 04:30:00 PM

Towards the end of each year I collect some housing forecasts for the following year.  This is just a beginning (I'll gather many more).

First a review of the previous five years ...

Here is a summary of forecasts for 2017. It is early (just nine months), but in 2017, new home sales will probably be around 600 to 610 thousand, and total housing starts will be around 1.200 to 1.210 million.  Wells Fargo and Brad Hunter (HomeAdvisor) appear very close on New Home sales, and Merrill Lynch and NAR appear close on starts.

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 several forecasts for 2017:

From Fannie Mae: Housing Forecast: October 2017

From Freddie Mac: Freddie Mac September 2017 Outlook

From NAHB: NAHB’s housing and economic forecast

Note: For comparison, new home sales in 2017 will probably be around 605 thousand, and total housing starts around 1.205 million.

Housing Forecasts for 2018
New Home Sales (000s)Single Family Starts (000s)Total Starts (000s)House Prices1
Fannie Mae6519451,3005.1%2
Freddie Mac

1,3304.9%2
NAHB6289031,253
1Case-Shiller unless indicated otherwise
2FHFA Purchase-Only Index
3NAR Median Prices
4Zillow Home Prices
5Brad Hunter, chief economist, formerly of MetroStudy