Trumps trade war with China doesnt bode well for an already shaky U.S. housing market

Millions of Americans could be looking to sell their homes in the next year. But will the ongoing trade war between the United States and China get in their way?

As many as 12.1 million homeowners plan to sell their primary residence within 18 months, according to a new survey of 1,400 homeowners from personal-finance website NerdWallet.

Some 44% of those who said that they plan to sell in the next 18 months said recent shifts in the housing market have made them consider selling sooner than they originally planned.

These buyers are concerned that the shift away from a seller’s market could force them to make price concessions and lose some of the gain they would otherwise receive thanks to the break-neck pace of home price appreciation in recent years.

And a prolonged trade war with China is unlikely to help. “Consumer confidence appears to be weaker than recognized, particularly with respect to large ticket purchases like housing or remodeling,” said Rob Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders.

“Clearly, a trade war increases this uncertainty,” he said. “We estimate that the 25% rate on the existing set of tariffs represent a $2.5 billion annual tax increase for the housing sector in terms of materials used for construction. A trade war will also hurt sectors of the economy, like agriculture, and increase overall consumer wariness.”

“The wind came out of the sails of the housing market at the end of 2018 as interest rates increased to 5% for mortgages,” he said.

Also see: Trump’s trade war with China will hit TVs, dishwashers, toys, lithium batteries, iPhones — even Silly Putty

‘The 25% rate on the existing set of tariffs represent a $2.5 billion annual tax increase for the housing sector in terms of materials used

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