U.S. housing outlook brightens in 2017

The housing market is expected to pick up moderately this year on steady job and income growth and an easing supply crunch, but rising mortgage rates are likely to temper the gains, economists say. USA Today reports the “X” factor is President-elect Donald Trump. Some of his proposed policies could juice home sales and starts more than anticipated while others may constrain the market. “We think 2017 is going to be another solid year” for housing, says Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist of real estate research firm Trulia. “But homebuyers will continue to face headwinds.” Existing home sales are projected to increase 2 percent to a post-recession high of about 5.5 million in 2017, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. But that’s less than this year’s 3.3 percent gain and below the 5.75 million considered normal in light of population growth.

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