Most signs point to continued solid improvement in residential construction. However, the single-family market will grow at a slower pace than it did in 2013. The current forecast calls for 18% growth. Although mortgage rates are still low by historical standards, housing affordability is slipping somewhat, mostly due to increasing prices for existing homes. Employment figures are also slightly better, but new jobs and pay scales aren’t rising as fast as costs. This will keep the growth rate down for most of the country.
Trends worth watching in the residential markets include more scrutiny by investors looking to buy low and sell high or rent distressed properties left over from the recession. Another related trend that could affect the market for years to come is the growing wealth gap, making high-end markets in major metro areas continuously more expensive, while low-end markets become less affordable to the largest sector of the population.