As Meyers Research chief economist Ali Wolfe writes in JLC's sister publication Builder, today’s economy has no playbook, as the COVID-19 pandemic - and our reaction to it - largely controls the path forward. Business leaders acknowledge that we are in a fluid situation, which may need additional course correction at any time. The new COVID-19 economy comes with winners and losers, and housing is one clear beneficiary.
The housing market tanked with the rest of the economy starting in mid-March as we all grappled to understand our new reality. Consumer spending, a critical component of the economy, virtually vanished overnight, and for six to eight weeks home sales were constrained. Experts in the home building industry were working to figure out what was next, all while trying to quiet the murmurs that housing could be hit as hard as it was during the Great Recession.
Then, something surprising happened: early green shoots in the housing market sprouted and continued to grow. Starting in late-April, builders began reporting a steady increase in demand and online traffic week-after-week. The homebuilding industry learned that the increased time at home surfaced flaws in our existing living situations. For example, we became more in-tune to how much flex space we have, the size of our yard, and the space we have to find privacy when the whole family is home.Read More