Builders Enter 2020 Cautiously Optimistic About Housing

While economists still see a potential slowdown ahead for the economy in general, new-home builders are operating with guarded optimism, bolstered by a strong spring selling season along with promising signs that they’ve finally cracked the code for building—and making a profit from—entry-level homes. But they’re also hyper-focused on staying vigilant for any signs of trouble on the horizon, reading the market, and staying ahead of it.

“If we’re undersupplied the way I and others estimate it, it would stand to reason that housing might actually be a domain of growth for the economy,” says Brad Dillman, chief economist at Atlanta-based multifamily owner, builder, and operator Cortland, who previously served as director of economic research at PulteGroup. “There could be more runway ahead, or at least the downside may not be as stark as some people think.”