Zelman brings up the house at PDIS

Savannah, Ga. -- An optimistic outlook from a normally conservative housing analyst closed the final day of the ProDealer Industry Summit (PDIS) today, sending many attendees home with renewed optimism, a new take on demographics and the green light -- in theory at least -- to ask builders for price increases next year.   

Headliner Ivy Zelman of Zelman & Associates, who predicted the length and the depth of the housing slump early on, told a full audience that the acceleration of household formation, combined with a dwindling number of available rental units, has created a housing shortage that needs to be addressed immediately.

“We, as a country right now, do not have very many opportunities for shelter,” Zelman said. Renters who can’t find apartments are turning, instead, to renting single-family homes. When these come off the housing market, the available inventory drops even lower, she said. And demographics are also adding new buyers to the market as adult children finally decamp from their parents’ homes.