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Sunday, March 04, 2018

Housing Industry Concerned about Tariffs

by Calculated Risk on 3/04/2018 10:28:00 AM

On Thursday, NAR chief economist was quoted in Inman News: Trump tariffs on steel and aluminum will be a blow to the construction industry

“Tariffs could measurably raise the cost of building materials and hinder home construction of affordable homes,” said Yu. “But more importantly, tariffs and restrictions to international trade will hold back economic growth and job creations. A better way to raise GDP growth is to produce more homes. Job growth and additional housing inventory will greatly help American workers and American consumers.”
And from the NAHB: Statement from NAHB Chairman Randy Noel on New Steel and Aluminum Tariffs
“Given that home builders are already grappling with 20 percent tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber and that the price of lumber and other key building materials are near record highs, this announcement by the president could not have come at a worse time.

“Tariffs hurt consumers and harm housing affordability."
As a noted in When the Story Changes, Be Alert, housing is facing several headwinds in 2018: higher mortgage rates, a negative impact from tax changes, higher labor costs, and higher material costs (especially lumber), and now tariffs on steel and aluminum.