While elections typically end a period of uncertainty, this one seems only to have heightened it. The extreme uncertainty stems from a complete lack of details on housing and economic policy during the President-elect's campaign.

Gray Thill, reporting in Replacement Contractor, summarizes the positions of prominent industry groups, and interviews leading professionals in housing and remodeling. The result provides some sobering insight into Trump's prospects for leadership in the modern world:

  • Trade. Kermit Baker, remodeling futures program director for Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, warns that efforts led by Trump to renegotiate trade deals such as NAFTA could start trade wars that lead to tariffs on imported goods. The likely result: increased prices and reduced availability on building materials, especially those produced offshore.
  • Labor shortage. Trump’s pledge to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants would exacerbate a severe labor shortage. However, he is one of the first to pledge adding vocational education programs back to high schools, which could eventually ease labor shortages. Trump's proposed investment in infrastructure could be an overall boon to heavy construction, but it could also increase the labor shortage, Baker predicts.
  • Regulation. There seems to be strong consensus that a Trump presidency would result in a roll-back of regulations that "slow down" construction. “If we do it right, as an industry and through trade associations, we’ll have more of an opportunity for a voice in the government that we’ve had in the past,” said remodeling consultant Shawn McCadden.
  • Finance. Trump has indicated he would seek to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which is viewed as a move that would likely curtail financing, possibly leading to "serious capital shortages."
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