January 26, 2016

CBO: Wages will outpace home prices in 2016

The Congressional Budget Office's Budget and Economic Outlook report for 2016 to 2026 predicts that wage growth will outpace growth in home prices in 2016, reversing the trend from 2015.

In 2015, home prices grew an estimated 4.4 percent while wage growth only hit 2.3 percent; in 2016, the CBO forecasts 3.3 percent growth in wages and 2.1 percent of growth in home prices.

"Despite historically low interest rates, growth in home values has priced many would-be buyers out of the market," said NAFCU Chief Economist and Director of Research Curt Long. "With household formation accelerating, we need to see some increased construction to alleviate the upward pressure on prices. Otherwise, home price appreciation may continue to outstrip wage growth, despite the CBO's projections."

The CBO estimates wages will grow at an annual rate of 3.3 percent between 2016 and 2017 and 3.6 percent from 2018 to 2020. Meanwhile, the CBO estimates house prices will grow at an annual rate of 2.4 percent between 2017 and 2020.

Also this week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that U.S. house prices went up 0.5 percent in November, according to its monthly House Price Index. Prices were also up 5.9 percent between November 2014 and November 2015. The index is calculated based on mortgages sold to or guaranteed by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index also showed an increase of 5.3 percent between November 2014 and November 2015.