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Williams-Sonoma Inc

WSM: XNYS (USA)
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Morningstar Rating for Stocks Fair Value Economic Moat Capital Allocation
$491.00SwkSvdctljyr

We Still Expect Single-Family Construction and Repair and Remodel Spending to Grow in 2024

New single-family home sales increased 4% in 2023 to 666,000 units, as homebuilders capitalized on a dearth of existing for-sale inventory while also offering more sales incentives, cutting base home prices, and building smaller homes to improve affordability. By the fourth quarter of 2023, homebuilders began to pull back on sales incentives as the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate retreated from 7.62% in October 2023 to 6.64% in January 2024. However, mortgage rates have trended higher recently, and we now forecast the average 30-year fixed rate will be 6.50% in 2024, up from our previous forecast of 6.10%. Even so, that’s lower than the 2023 average of 6.81%, and we think homebuilders won’t hesitate to increase sales incentives if needed; they still enjoyed above-average gross profit margins last year with elevated incentives. As such, in 2024, we think new-home sales will increase 9% to 730,000 units and single-family housing starts will increase 4% to 985,000 units. However, we expect total housing starts will decline roughly 5% to 1,345,000 units due to a 23% decline in multifamily starts to 360,000 units, as there’s currently approximately 1,000,000 multifamily units under construction—the largest backlog in at least 50 years.

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