The A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research released an updated economic forecast for 2017 at the Musco Center for the Arts in Orange, CA. Dr. Jim Doti, president emeritus of Chapman University, presented information on the Nation, California, and Orange County.
U.S. Forecast: This is one of the longest recoveries on record at 8 years! With moderate inflation of 1.7% the Fed will not aggressively raise interest rates. Real GDP will grow at 2.3% in 2017, up from 1.6% in 2016. Nationally housing starts for ‘17f is at 1,302,300 units.
California Forecast: California’s home price-to-income ratio is currently 5.8 with the nation’s at 3.3. What’s the major cause of California’s housing affordability problem? The supply of unsold resale homes is below the average of 5.1 months plus higher mortgage rates are increasing home appreciation to 6.5% in 2017 from 5.5% in 2016. Silicon Valley is the a major variable swinging the CA forecast. Silicon Valley’s incredibly high housing prices are causing substantial job losses in the tech information sector because employees are relocating or choosing to live/work in other tech hubs throughout the nation with more affordable housing.
Orange County Forecast: OC is nearly at full employment with a 3.2% unemployment rate. Without a major job sector increasing job growth, the 2017 forecast for overall Orange County job growth is 1.5%; the slowest rate of growth since the recovery began in 2009. Housing appreciation is forecasted at 6.2% for 2017. OC will produce enough housing units to bring down population housing density from 2.93 people per housing unit in 2015 to 2.87 people per housing unit by 2020. Median DOM is a lead indicator of housing prices dropping and the current trend does not reveal a bubble bursting in the near future. Orange County’s median SFR home price is forecasted to be $792,593 by Q4 with a price-to-income ratio currently at 8.6. The “graying” of OC’s population is a source of concern because the 65+ market will not contribute to future employment and OC’s expensive real estate might just be traded back and forth among these baby boomers. Is there a solution? Doti unveiled his OC vision of a “pro-tech beach hub” to recover and stimulate job creation, leading to increased salaries for people to afford the high real estate prices.