Fitch Ratings is out with its 2013 outlook for housing, and the news appears to remain favorable after solid single-family housing starts and an unexpected jump in multifamily starts. The single family housing starts of 616,000 for December was on target with Fitch’s expectations, but the multifamily housing starts of 338,000 was above its expectations.
The report notes that macroeconomic trends are favorable for housing as well, with favorable affordability and buyer psychology meeting better orders and backlog from the public homebuilders. Fitch does expect the rate of growth to moderate as 2013 wears on, but here are the projections: 2013 single-family starts to expand 18%, new home sales advance 22% and existing home sales should increase 7%.
Fitch envisions housing growth to be somewhat less robust this year as its housing forecasts for 2012 have been enhanced since the last quarterly. Fitch estimates that single-family housing starts improved about 24%, new home sales rose approximately 20% and existing home sales grew 10%.
Perhaps what will matter the most is the U.S. growth rate. We have seen a significant recovery so far in housing, but it is still weak compared to the glory days that we likely will not see again for another generation.