MBA’s 2019 Housing Summit Delivers a Well-Received Legislative and Economic Forecast

A packed room full of elected officials, jurisdictional staff, MBA members, industry experts, Realtors, and the public helped to make our 2019 Housing Summit a huge success. Attendees watched a video provided by Congressman Denny Heck on his efforts to guide the attainable housing discussion in Washington DC. They also heard a legislative session summary from State Senator, Guy Palumbo, and an economic forecast from NAHB Chief Economist, Robert Dietz. A robust Q&A session took place in time with both speakers and Summit Attendees.

Senator Palumbo delivered his remarks on the recently completed legislative session and the likelihood of Growth Management Act (GMA) Reform. Condo liability reform was among the highlights from the session that the Senator touted. Furthermore, he stated that he anticipates robust GMA reform will be on the horizon for next year’s legislative session. The Q&A session notably brought up the likelihood of rent control being a legislative issue in Olympia and the Senator soberly admitted that several of his colleagues would support the concept and urged the audience to “vote smartly” in all upcoming elections to avoid harmful housing policy ideas.

Robert Dietz provided an excellent housing forecast, highlighting the state of the homebuilding and purchasing market as well as delving into factors that have shaped the economy as we know it. In regards to homebuilding and purchasing, the following points provide a well-rounded snapshot from Dietz’s presentation:

  • National homeownership is increasing
  • Lumber prices have dropped after last year and are anticipated to level out
  • Regulations and fees account for an average of 24% of the value of a single family home (14-30% depending on jurisdiction); they account for about 32% of the value of a multi-family unit
  • Housing markets in Pierce County are growing more slowly than the national average
  • New home sizes are decreasing as entry level homes are in high demand and are being brought to the market
  • The remodeling market is slowing faster than anticipated
  • Millennials are going to be moving from renting to home ownership in the next 10 years

Dietz also provided attendees with the following interesting facts that have shaped the workforce, economy, and housing market as we know it:

  • One third of Generation X men that should be in the workforce are not due to the opioid crisis
  • 40% of people that attend a four year college and take out student loans do not get a degree, therefore they are not landing jobs they anticipated and are unable to pay off said loans
  • Auto loans are crowding out buying homes (which subsequently defeats the common notion that millennials are not buying cars)
  • Growth in the workforce is mostly coming from individuals who are 55+

You can view Robert Dietz’s complete slide deck presentation under the Government Affairs tab on our website.