The month of May saw another tick down for existing-home sales and pending home sales, falling by 0.4% and 1.3%, respectively. Compared to this time a year ago, Housing Starts on new construction are up more than 7.2% and are projected to reach a year-on-year jump of 11% by the end of September 2018; these Housing Starts are expected to continue rising as the real number of starts increases in conjunction with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, from 4.5% to 4.7% over the same period.
As trade tensions increase between the United States and other nations, it is possible that tit-for-tat tariffs could disrupt the home-building process as supply drops and prices increases for necessary raw materials. Earlier this year, the president of the National Association for Home Builders released a statement criticizing the Trump administration for its use of tariffs on steel and aluminium, which has led to an increase in the cost of building a home and thus decreased access to affordable housing. As the administration picks up steam with its isolationist trade policies, American home buyers will continue to be adversely affected.