The UCLA Anderson Forecast was released today [USAToday]. “The widely respected forecasting center at UCLA said rising interest rates, slowing population growth, overbuilding and the fact that prices had reached bubble-like heights in some hot areas will drive the decline. Housing, which had been a big driver of growth, is contributing little to the economic expansion at present, the forecast said.”
“A year ago, UCLA’s respected Anderson Forecast declared the housing market a bubble and identified the prospect of a sharp housing-market downturn as the biggest risk to the U.S. economy….says the boom isn’t even over [WSJ].
The UCLA Anderson Forecast correctly predicted the 2001 recession.
The pushed back their original prediction that the US housing industry would experience a slow down beginning in mid-2005. They changed their estimate to early 2006.
The forecast said eight of the last 10 economic recessions were started by housing market slowdowns. Though the coming cooldown will cause a drag on the nation’s economy, it will fall short of triggering a recession, the forecast said.
“The report cited several signs that the decline could be under way:
New construction of housing in October was down 5.6 percent from the previous month, with new construction of single-family housing accounting for a 3.7 percent dip.
New home sales have declined.
Applications for home mortgages have trended downward since late September as rates increased.
In some regions, homes are remaining unsold longer and the pace of housing construction is outpacing population growth, which could spell a decline in demand.”
This is consistent with I think most people’s expectations. The volume of new development has been growing over the past several years and has finally hit a saturation point.