In Virginia, building permits for single-family homes grew 13% in 2020. Dietz said growth is expected to continue in 2021, though perhaps at a slightly slower rate. For many, household balance sheets improved during the pandemic due to an influx of stimulus money and a decline in spending. As a result, Dietz said, people were able to save more money and put it toward a down payment on a house.
Low interest rates have also been a factor, but Dietz said they will trend higher with the economic recovery. At a certain point, climbing interest rates are likely to slow home sales, but until then he said demographic trends indicate that demand will remain strong. The goods economy did well in 2020, as the pandemic forced people to stay home and forgo experience and services. Housing is the ultimate good, Robert Dietz, chief economist for the NAHB, said in May.
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