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GHBA Forecast ZOOM November 2020

Featuring Chief Economist with Stewart Title / Ted C. Jones PhD

  • Jones says that housing is one of the biggest bright spots in an otherwise down year.
  • What has increased during COVID19? Work from home, shopping online and online realty.   One good thing that has decreased is interest rates %.
  • Full populations getting the vaccine he says is still a year away.
  • He predicts the U.S. Economy GDP will decrease -4.6 % overall in 2020.   He also predicts an increase of 6.2% for the GDP in 2021.
  • Houston has performed better than the U.S. on job loss during this pandemic.
  • Even with oil prices @ $40 or below, Houston is selling more homes. Big positive in our now diverse local economy.
  • New Home Sales are smoking hot @ the moment.
  • Entry level (affordable housing) is picking up dramatically! (and is needed)
  • We sell 5 existing homes for every new home sold.
  • Home values are peaking right now on record low interest rates %.
  • Due to this we are now paying a record low % of our income on our mortgages.
  • We are selling more homes in 2020 than we did in 2019.
  • We have over built class A Multi Family in Houston. But we are NOT over built-in Single-Family homes.
  • In 1989, 9.7 % was avg on a 30-year loan.
  • In 2020, below 3 % is attainable on a 30-year loan.
  • Another advantage in HTown is we still have great bang for your buck on Single Family houses.
  • Jones states that commercial real estate sucks right now. Residential Single Family is sky high.   This is due to the pandemic and work from home trends among other things.
  • Jones argues that cheap energy costs and low % rates make it much easier to buy and own a home.
  • He argues that this is even better than a tax cut, in that it affects most everyone in the economy.
  • 2018 thru 2019 incomes went up for lower to middle income households due to tax cuts.
  • Jones states the Tax Foundation says any repeal of our existing tax cuts will have a negative effect on the economy.
  • A Biden administration has said that they would like to repeal some or all the existing tax cuts.
  • Jones does state that minimum wage increases do help the economy, but they also can cause job loss. He argues that it should be done state by state.  As costs of living vary so much between states.  (San Francisco v. Houston for example)
  • The unknowns that concern Mr. Jones. Virus is currently rampant when will vaccines help that?   Some tax laws are currently up in the air?  Increased % rates can destroy housing.
  • But overall, he is very hopeful that this housing boom will continue for a few years fueled by low % rates and a booming economy post vaccine.

Stay Calm and Keep Building, we need the housing!


GHBA Forecast Luncheon January 2020

Featuring Economist Elliot Eisenberg

  • Mr Eisenberg thinks the economy is slowing but not dying.
  • No bubble looming in housing or student loan debt or anything else.
  • GDP growth will slow to 2% in 2020, slightly slower than 2019.
  • Just because we are 10+ years in a growth market does NOT mean recession is imminent.
  • Mortgage debt remains slightly below the 2008 peak. Total debt is 10% higher.
  • Household balance sheets look pretty good.
  • Small business confidence remains strong.
  • Stock Market is doing relatively well despite numerous stressors.
  • Just under 17 million vehicle sales. Not a record but still solid sales.
  • US Heavy trucks sales way down, due mostly to record purchases last year (tax incentives).
  • Home improvements still on the rise but very slow.
  • US Rig count @ 676. Natural gas prices still very low.
  • There is a glut of energy and slow global growth will continue that trend.
  • Manufacturing #’s are down but is less important to economy than in decades past.
  • Non-Manufacturing economy is fine.
  • Capital goods orders are flat.
  • Service sector is very stable.
  • Tax cuts are waning and will have little effect in 2020.
  • Global growth is waning, and central banks are easing with sometimes less than zero %.
  • Trade War hurts US GDP by a half a percentage point. And will continue to do so.
  • The Dollar is surprisingly strong. @ its highest level since 2003.
  • GDP Growth is slowing but still growing.
  • GDP cannot grow fast with our weak population growth and labor productivity growth.
  • Elliot recommends having more sex and therefore more babies.
  • Best news is Elliot sees no recession.
  • US Economy still the best in the World.
  • Labor Markets are very TIGHT.
  • Historical job growth since 2000. Year over year close to 2 million new jobs.
  • Despite low unemployment, wage growth is weak but at least it is growing.
  • Inflation is non-existent. That is good.
  • Will rates rise? Elliot says not very likely.
  • Fed fund rate currently 1.625%. Elliot predicts in (2021) 1.375% and (2022) back to current 1.625%.
  • There is not enough housing! We need more, especially affordable housing.
  • Due to Government Regulations and lack of Labor, Housing costs are too HIGH!
  • Too many expensive houses. Very few are affordable.
  • Housing costs have risen 41% since 2009 and income has only grown by 8%. That is a problem.
  • Housing inventories are too low.
  • The % of low-down payment buyers (less than 5% down payment) is increasing to over 10% from 2.5%.
  • Overall, especially locally in Texas, things are good. The future looks good too.
  • All 4 major population centers look to have healthy economic conditions and futures.
  • Texas has the fastest population growth of any state in the Union.
  • Stay Calm and Keep Building!

The City of Alvin has adopted the 2018 ICC Building Codes, Effective June 1, 2019. View

Raised Wood Floor Foundations: DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION GUIDE

A publication of Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
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