Remodeling has been the little housing engine that never konked out entirely, even during the darkest days of the recession. And now, supported by stocks closing Friday at their highest level in five years, remodeling and new construction alike are expected to get even stronger in 2013, a number of sources have written.
At Bloomberg, there's this from John Gittelsohn:
"U.S. home sales and prices are poised to rise in 2013, solidifying a recovery that began last year after a half-decade slump that was the deepest since the Great Depression.... Record-low mortgage rates and attractive prices, supported by declining unemployment, are luring buyers as the inventory of distressed homes shrinks. Homebuilders are responding by adding supply, bolstering economic growth."
At The Washington Post, Moody's Analytics' Mark Zandi published this on Saturday:
"A housing renaissance has begun. This may be hard to believe after the dizzying, six-year-long crash in home sales, construction and house prices. But housing turned the corner last year, and it will take off in 2013....
"Buying a home wouldn't make much sense if house prices were likely to decline further; no one wants to catch a falling knife. But it seems increasingly likely that prices will rise. No one should expect the value of their house to appreciate quickly -- counting on your home to be a significant part of your retirement saving isn't a winning strategy -- but it is reasonable to expect that prices generally will rise with at least the rate of inflation for some time to come."Time, Christopher Matthews wrote this about "the great housing rebound of 2012":
"There’s no doubt that we’re finally seeing the beginnings of what economists call a positive feedback loop when it comes to housing. Rising home prices allow lenders to be more generous with home financing, which allows even more prospective home buyers to access the market, further driving up home prices. And higher home values give consumers and builders more confidence to go out and spend money or make investments, which also stimulates the real estate market and broader economy."
What do you think, remodelers? Is housing on the comeback trail? Is your business?