Eye On Housing - A Blog from NAHB

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National Association of Home Builders Discusses Economics and Housing Policy
Updated: 47 min 33 sec ago

Headline Inflation Accelerates, Core Inflation Slows

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 12:03
The Consumer Price Index – Urban Consumers (CPI) rose by 0.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis over the month of November and 2.2 percent over the past 12 months on a not seasonally adjusted basis. According to the release, energy prices accounted for three-fourths of the increase in the monthly change in headline inflation. Core CPI, which excludes more... Read More ›

Construction Trades: A Step on the Path Toward Higher Paying Jobs

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 08:32
A recent NAHB study identifies eight senior positions at home building companies that are often to nearly always filled by someone with experience in one or more of the construction trades.  Average annual compensation (salary and bonus combined) for each of the eight positions is at least $80,000—at least $100,000, if the position is Head/Director or above of one of... Read More ›

Fed Raises Key Rate, Balance Sheet Normalization to Accelerate in January

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 16:35
In its statement following its December 12-13, 2017 meeting, the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to a range of 1.25 to 1.5 percent, a decision that was widely expected. Despite the increase, the FOMC believes that the “stance of monetary policy remains accommodative”. As illustrated by the Federal Reserve... Read More ›

State Economies Contribute to Nationwide GDP Growth in Q2 of 2017

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 09:47
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 48 states and the District of Columbia in the second quarter of 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The majority of the states, 44, and the District of Columbia posted an acceleration in its annualized rate from the first quarter of 2017 to the second quarter of 2017 while only... Read More ›

Record-Setting Pace of Price Increases Continues

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 20:09
Prices paid for inputs to residential construction (+0.7%), softwood lumber (+2.3%), gypsum products (0.4%), and OSB (+15.3%) all increased in November, according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since January 2017, the price paid for every major input to construction NAHB tracks has increased. The following is a list of price increases... Read More ›

Homeowners’ Equity Improves

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 16:39
The Financial Accounts of the United States for the third quarter of 2017 were published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System recently. On a nominal and not seasonally adjusted basis, the aggregate market value of households’ real estate continues to improve. In nominal terms, households’ owner-occupied real estate increased to $24.2 trillion in the third quarter... Read More ›

Construction Job Openings Rise in October

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:31
The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector increased in October. This increase occurred during a period of expansion for repair and remodeling work in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 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) increased to 227,000 in October. This count is close... Read More ›

Garages in New Homes: 2016 Data

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:28
A majority of new homes that completed construction in 2016 included two-car garages, according to NAHB analysis of Census Bureau Survey of Construction data.   For new single-family completions in 2016, 63% of homes offered a two-car garage. Another 22% of homes possessed a garage large enough to hold three or more cars. Just 6% of newly-built homes had a one-car garage, and... Read More ›

Solid Employment Gains in November

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 11:39
According to the Employment Situation for November 2017 reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 228,000 in November and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%. Employment growth has averaged 174,000 per month so far this year, compared with the average monthly growth of 187,000 over all of 2016. The unemployment rate was... Read More ›

Impact of the Canadian Lumber Duties on the U.S. Economy in 2018

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 16:06
On November 2, 2017, the Commerce Department announced its final decision to impose duties averaging 20.83 percent on Canadian softwood lumber shipments into the U.S. The impacts of these duties on the U.S. economy next year will include increased production by U.S. sawmills, reduced imports from Canada, and higher prices paid for lumber by consumers in the U.S., which in... Read More ›

Number of Bathrooms in New Homes

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 09:30
Every year, the US Census Bureau publishes data on the characteristics of new single-family homes started in its Survey of Construction. In 2016, 3.7 percent of new single-family homes started had 1 bathroom or less, 60.9 percent had 2 bathrooms, 26.7 percent had 3 bathrooms, and 8.7 percent had four bathrooms or more (Figure 1).   The term ‘bathroom’ in this... Read More ›

Air Conditioning and Heating Systems in New Homes

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 09:40
Air Conditioning Systems Every year, the US Census Bureau publishes information on characteristics of new homes started in its Survey of Construction (SOC), including air conditioning and heating systems. In 2016, 93.5 percent of new single-family homes started included a central air conditioning system (Figure 1). The share of new homes with central AC rose steadily between 2000 and 2004,... Read More ›

The Geography of Homes Built on Private Wells and with Individual Septic Systems in 2016

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 08:45
NAHB Economics analysis of the Survey of Construction (SOC) data shows that less than 9% of new single-family homes started in 2016 are served by individual wells and close to 16% have private septic systems. These shares, however, vary widely across the nine Census divisions with the corresponding shares reaching 37% and 43% in New England – the highest occurrence... Read More ›

Share of New Homes with Decks Edges Up

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 08:21
Of the roughly 780,000 single-family homes started in 2016, 23.7 percent came with decks, according to NAHB tabulation of data from the Survey of Construction (SOC, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and partially funded by HUD).  This is up slightly from 23.3 percent of single-family homes started in 2015. From a slightly longer historic perspective, the share of new homes... Read More ›

Single Family Construction Spending Up in October

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 12:13
NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending grew 0.4% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $517.7 billion. It was a modest gain after a 0.2% dip in September. The total private residential construction spending was 7.4% higher than a year ago. The monthly gains are largely attributed to the steady... Read More ›

October Gains in Personal Income and Spending

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 11:47
Personal income climbed 0.4% in October, according to the most recent data release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Gains in personal income are largely driven by increases in wages and salaries and personal interest income. Personal consumption expenditures increased by 0.3% in October, compared to nearly 0.9% jump reported in September. Real spending, adjusted to remove inflation, inched up... Read More ›

Growth Rate for Residential Construction Loans Picks Up

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 08:45
The volume of residential construction loans increased by 2.4% during the third quarter of 2017, marking 18 consecutive quarters of growth. While the year-over-year growth rate has slowed, the uptick in the quarterly growth rate is good news for home building. Tight availability of acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) loans has been a limiting factor for home building growth, but easing credit conditions and a growing loan base have helped expand... Read More ›

Growth in Q3 a Bit Stronger Than Initially Estimated

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:37
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that economy, as measured by growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 3.3 percent in the third quarter of 2018. The second estimate of Q3 GDP growth is moderately higher than the initial, or “advance”, estimate. With this reading, GDP growth has accelerated for two consecutive quarters after decelerating over the... Read More ›

Mortgage Rates Remain Low

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:18
Information provided by the Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) indicates that mortgage rates on purchases of newly built homes fell by 5 basis points over June to 3.93 percent. At this level, rates remain below the 4.18 cycle peak level recorded in February. Meanwhile, a more commonly used rate reported by Freddie Mac indicates that mortgage rates rose in October.... Read More ›

Pending Sales Rebound from Hurricanes

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 10:48
The Pending Home Sales Index increased 3.5% in October as the South recovered from the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), remains 0.6% below the level a year ago. The PHSI jumped 7.4% in the South, and also increased... Read More ›

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