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When it comes to the Bend Oregon real estate market, this blog author is fond of paraphrasing the late Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr., former Member of the House of Representatives from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1987, who famously and frequently declared that “all politics is local.” So is real estate, in our humble opinion.

Even so, it is instructive now and then to read how economists view the national real estate picture, and to judge its compatibility with local conditions.

How is the national outlook for residential construction in 2017? Pretty darn good, according to speakers at a Midyear Collaborative Construction Economics Forecast conducted in August by three major trade groups.

Speakers were: Anirban Basu, chief economist, Associated Builders and Contractors; Kermit Baker, chief economist, American Institute of Architects, and Robert Dietz, chief economist, National Assn. of Home Builders.

“Our forecast shows single-family production expanding by more than 10 per cent in 2016, and the robust multifamily sector leveling off,” said Dietz. “Historically low mortgage interest rates and favorable demographics should keep the housing market moving forward at a gradual pace (in 2017), but residential construction growth will be constrained by shortages of labor and lots and rising regulatory costs.”

“Nonresidential construction spending growth will continue into the next year with an estimated increase in the range of 3 to 4 percent,” Basu declared. “Growth will continue to be led by privately financed projects, with commercial construction continuing to lead the way. Energy-related construction will become less of a drag in 2017, while public spending will continue to be lackluster.”

“Revenue at architecture firms continues to grow, so prospects for the construction industry remain solid over the next 12 to 18 months,” said Baker. “Given current demographic trends, the single-family residential and the institutional building sectors have the greatest potential for further expansion at present.” (Emphasis supplied.)

Source: National Assn. of Home Builders.