This month, the Kitsap Building Association hosted Robert Dietz, the Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders, to advise us all on what’s ahead.
The speaker filled us in on a number of economic fronts, including new home construction, job openings in construction, labor force participation of men and women, lending rates, inflation and other key metrics that affect the housing market. Derr Heating’s Nicole Palmer was on the scene.
The good news is that, following national trends, Kitsap County has fully recovered from the COVID-19 recession. Comparing Payroll figures on Employment, the numbers for December of 2022 were 101% of the February 2020 level.
The Labor Force participation rate, while charting a decades long decline for men, continues to trend upward for women and has increased in the last two years.
The weight of inflation is felt most heavily on Housing at 42% according to the Consumer Price Index.
Indeed, the economic impact of home building and home buying cannot be underestimated.
- The building of 1,000 single-family homes support 2,700 jobs;
- 1,000 apartments built supports 1,250 jobs and
- For every $100 million invested in remodeling, 750 jobs are supported,
Economist Dietz summed it up for Senators when testifying on Capitol Hill in February, stating “Building more homes and apartments is the only way to tame inflation and ease America’s housing affordability crisis.” [DHC]