The Steady Growth of U.S. Residential Remodeling Expenditures

The Steady Growth of U.S. Residential Remodeling Expenditures





Market Analysis

Immigrants Projected to Give Big Boost to Future Housing Market

Washington, DC The substantial influx of immigrants to the U.S. over the next 10 years will provide major support for continued housing demand, according to at least one leading housing analyst.

Speaking at the National Association of Home Builders' recent Construction Forecast Conference here, NAHB economist Michael Carliner said the same immigrants who've provided a stimulus to rental markets in recent years will eventually become a major factor in the for-sale marketplace.

That, of course, would prove to be positive news for both new- and existing-home sales, as well as the residential remodeling industry.

Since the 2000 Census, Carliner noted, it appears that immigration has accelerated, with a net of about 1.5 million new immigrants coming to this country annually since the beginning of the decade. Looking forward, NAHB population and household formations forecasts project a net flow up to 1.7 million foreign-born people coming to the U.S. every year between 2002 and 2012, with labor demands created by the retirement of Baby Boomers likely to provide economic and political influences supporting immigration. As a result, the long-term outlook for single-family home construction is expected to be more favorable than the past decade, Carliner said.

Analysts at the conference were also in agreement that an imminent bust in the nation's housing prices remains essentially out of the question. Not only have prices never declined on a national basis over the past 30 years, said Fannie Mae Director of Economic and Policy Research Michael Fratantoni, but inventories of unsold homes have been on a steady decline that's expected to continue in the near future.