Eye On Housing - A Blog from NAHB

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National Association of Home Builders Discusses Economics and Housing Policy
Updated: 1 hour 31 min ago

May Gains for New Home Sales

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 11:09
Contracts for new home sales expanded by 2.9% in May to a 610,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to estimates from the joint data release of HUD and the Census Bureau. The report also noted a strong upward revision for the April rate of sales, increasing from a 569,000 annual pace to 593,000. The growth in sales continues along a positive trend for the... Read More ›

Property Tax Revenues Increase for 18th Straight Quarter

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 09:08
NAHB analysis of the Census Bureau’s quarterly tax data shows that $541 billion in taxes were paid by property owners over the four quarters ending in Q4 2016.[1] This represents a $23 billion—or 4.5%—increase over the previous trailing four quarters.  Although this growth rate declined for the first time in a year and a half, it remains robust relative to... Read More ›

May Buyers Rush Past Market Challenges

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 11:29
Existing home sales increased 1.1% in May, and 55% of homes sold last month were on the market less than a month as buyers overcame low inventory and higher prices. Although May inventory increased 2.1%, it remains 8.4% lower than a year ago and fell year-over-year for the 24th consecutive month. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that at... Read More ›

Apartment and Condominium Absorption Rates Drop

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 09:22
According to the most recent release of the Survey of Market Absorption (SOMA), produced by the US Census Bureau in collaboration with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, completions of nonsubsidized, unfurnished, rental apartments in buildings with 5 or more units totaled to 73,300 in the fourth quarter of 2016, about 9 percent higher than completions in the... Read More ›

NAHB Estimates 79,000 Single-family Tear-down Starts in 2016

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 08:31
Roughly 10.2% of single-family homes started in 2016 qualify as tear-down starts, up from 7.7% in 2016, according to the latest estimates from NAHB.  As defined here, a tear-down start means a home built on a site where a previous structure or evidence of a previous structure was present before the new home was started, as reported by the new home’s... Read More ›

Housing Starts Decline in May

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 09:53
Total housing starts declined in May after a few, strong early months to begin 2017. Total starts were down 5.5%, falling to a 1.092 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. Declines were recorded for both single-family and multifamily development. Single-family starts fell back, declining to a 794,000 annual rate. The February... Read More ›

Builder Confidence Remains Solid in June

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 10:01
Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes weakened slightly in June, down two points to a level of 67 from a downwardly revised May reading of 69 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Builder confidence levels have remained consistently sound this year, reflecting the ongoing gradual recovery of the housing market. As... Read More ›

Fed Raises Rates, Announces Balance Sheet Reduction Plan

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 16:12
The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy committee announced two moves today with implications for housing. Neither represented a surprise for markets. First, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced the second rate increase for the short-term federal funds rate for 2017, raising the target rate to a 1% to 1.25% range. While the Fed continues to raise short-term rates, the current stance of... Read More ›

CPI Slipped in May

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 10:49
The Consumer Price Index (CPI), reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), slipped in May due to a decline in energy prices. The CPI declined at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.5% in May, following a 2.0% increase in April. Excluding the volatile food and energy components, “core” CPI increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.8%,... Read More ›

Prices of Softwood Lumber and OSB Keep Climbing

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 15:47
The prices of softwood lumber and OSB increased by 2.2% and 3.3%, respectively, in May according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The increases were a return to the 2017 norm, as softwood lumber and OSB have led building materials price gains in every month except April, when gypsum prices rose 5.1%.  In contrast,... Read More ›

Home Equity Grows As the Composition of (Fewer) Refinancings Shifts

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 13:30
According to the Federal Reserve Board’s first quarter of 2017 release of its Financial Accounts of the United States report, household holdings of real estate, measured on a not seasonally adjusted basis, totaled $23.526 trillion in the first quarter of 2017, $1.597 trillion higher than its level in the first quarter of 2016. Home mortgage debt outstanding, $9.813 trillion in the first... Read More ›

Consumer Credit Expands, But At A Slower Pace

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 10:30
According to the Federal Reserve Board’s G.19 Consumer Credit report, the total amount of consumer credit outstanding rose by 2.6 percent (SAAR) over the month of April 2017 to $3.82 trillion. Revolving credit, which is largely composed of credit card debt and represents $1.01 trillion, rose by 1.8 percent while non-revolving credit, which encompasses auto and student loans and totals $2.81... Read More ›

Who Are NAHB’s Associate Members?

Thu, 06/08/2017 - 09:00
Every year since 2008, the NAHB has conducted a member census in order to better understand the composition and characteristics of the people who belong to its organization.  In 2016, 68 percent of NAHB’s members were associate members—those indirectly involved in home building.  The remaining 32 percent were builder members—those directly involved in home building.  Last month we gave readers... Read More ›

Age of Construction Workers

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 10:00
A scarcity of labor remains an important headwind for home builders and the entire construction industry. NAHB analysis of the most recent 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) data reveals that the median age of construction workers is 41, which is the same as the median age of the overall labor force. As home building continues its recovery, there are significant... Read More ›

Construction Job Openings Jump in April

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 10:45
The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector climbed in April, rising to the highest level since September of last year. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs (on a seasonally adjusted basis) stood at 203,000 in April. The cycle high was 238,000, set in July of last year. The open position rate (job... Read More ›

Mortgage Rates Fall

Mon, 06/05/2017 - 10:30
Following 4 consecutive monthly increases, results from the Mortgage Interest Rate Survey (MIRS) released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) indicate that mortgage rates fell in April 2017, its second consecutive month of declines. Over the month, contract rates on mortgages used to purchase single-family newly constructed homes declined by 10 basis points to 4.02 percent. Despite the decline, rates remain above the... Read More ›

The Employment Situation in May – Job Gains Down, Another Slow Day for the Labor Force

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 14:23
The BLS released the Employment Situation report for May. Payroll employment increased by 138 thousand, and the prior two months were revised downward by a total of 66 thousand. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3% from 4.4% in April, but only because the number of people in the labor force declined faster than the number of people employed in the... Read More ›

Private Residential Construction Spending Slows in April

Thu, 06/01/2017 - 13:41
NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $522.2 billion in April, 0.7% lower than upwardly revised March estimates. The private residential construction spending slowed down after a strong start of this year. However, it was still 16.7% higher than a year ago. The monthly... Read More ›

Posts for National Home Remodeling Month

Wed, 05/31/2017 - 13:56
May is National Home Remodeling Month, and Eye on Housing recognized the occasion with a series of posts related to the topic.  As the month draws to a close, below is a summary list of those posts for anyone who may have missed them: Remodeling in 2016: Kitchens Reclaim Top Spot from Baths  May 5, 2017 Desire for New Amenities:... Read More ›

Pending Sales Slump

Wed, 05/31/2017 - 10:55
The Pending Home Sales Index decreased 1.3% in April for a second consecutive monthly decline, and fell 3.3% below its level a year ago. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), decreased to 109.8 in April, down from a revised 111.3 in March. The PHSI decreased... Read More ›