Eye On Housing - A Blog from NAHB

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National Association of Home Builders Discusses Economics and Housing Policy
Updated: 2 hours 54 min ago

New Home Sales Falter After Encouraging Spring

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 12:20
According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales of new single-family homes fell 9.4 percent over the month of July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000. Despite the declines, sales over the first seven months of 2017 are 9.2 percent above their level over the same period in 2016. The... Read More ›

Is the Multifamily Built-for-Rent Market Share Falling?

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 08:33
After reaching a share of 95% of all multifamily starts at the start of 2017, the market share of rental multifamily starts declined in the second quarter to 91%, according to NAHB analysis of Census data. In contrast, the historical low share of 47% was set during the third quarter of 2005, during the condo building boom. And an average... Read More ›

Slowdown for Single-Family Built-for-Rent Construction

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 08:34
The number of single-family homes built-for-rent appears to be slowing. Over the last four quarters, total production of this type of housing was 28,000 homes, compared to 35,000 during the four quarters prior. The slowing of this market, along with its relative small size, stands in contrast to public discussion concerning the overall size of the single-family rental market. According to... Read More ›

Gains for Custom Home Building

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 08:34
NAHB’s analysis of Census Data from the Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design survey indicates ongoing expansion of the volume of custom home building but slight declines in terms of overall market share. Over the last four quarter period, ending with the second quarter of 2017, there were 1781,000 total custom single-family home starts, an increase of more... Read More ›

Many Construction Firms Need Only $5,000 to Start Their Businesses

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 08:30
Of 638,839 construction firms surveyed by the U.S. Census Bureau in its Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (ASE), 20.1% report they raised less than $5,000 dollars to begin commercial activity. The ASE is a relatively new information source released by the U.S. Census Bureau this year. It collects economic and demographic information on businesses and business ownership in all major industries,... Read More ›

Townhouse Construction Flat

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 08:34
According to NAHB analysis of the most recent Census data of Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design, townhouse construction starts have slowed relative to the expansion of the overall building market. Over the last four quarters ending with the second quarter of 2017, townhouse starts totaled 94,000, 5% lower than the four quarters prior this past year. Townhouses, or... Read More ›

New Single-Family Home Size Trends Lower

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 12:24
After increasing and leveling off in recent years, new single-family home size continued along a general trend of decreasing size during the second quarter of 2017.  This change of the last two years marks a reversal of the trend that had been in place as builders focused on the higher end of the market during the recovery. As the entry-level market... Read More ›

Single-Family Starts Flat in July

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 09:41
The pace of single-family starts was effectively flat in July, after a strong rate was recorded in June. In contrast, the multifamily market continues to slow after multiple strong years. Total starts declined almost 5% in July to a 1.155 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. The headline decline... Read More ›

Builder Confidence Springs Back with Four-Point August Jump

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:02
Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose four points in August to a level of 68 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Builder sentiment is being supporting by ongoing job and economic growth, attractive mortgage rates, and growing consumer confidence. The fact that builder confidence has returned to the healthy levels... Read More ›

Share of Builders Reporting Labor Shortages Rises Again

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 08:26
Labor and subcontractor shortages have become even more widespread in July of 2017 than they were in June of 2016, according to single-family builders responding to special questions on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) survey. The July 2017 HMI survey asked builders about shortages in 15 specific occupations that were either recommended by Home Builders Institute (NAHB’s workforce development arm)... Read More ›

Gypsum Prices Continue to Climb

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 16:17
The prices of gypsum, softwood lumber, and ready-mix concrete increased by 1.4%, 0.6%, and 0.3%, respectively, in July according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In contrast, the price paid for OSB fell 3.8%, its largest monthly decline since February 2016. Gypsum prices rose 1.4% in July following a 1.3% increase in June.  The... Read More ›

Housing Affordability Inches Lower in Second Quarter

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 10:15
Rising home prices offset a quarter-point drop in mortgage interest rates to move housing affordability slightly lower in the second quarter of 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).  In all, 59.4 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of April and end of June were affordable to families... Read More ›

Home Equity Used to Start Seven Percent of U.S. Businesses

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 08:30
Equity in a home was used as a source of capital to start 284,618 businesses—7.3% of all businesses in the U.S.—according to a new source of data released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau. The new data source is the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, (ASE), which collects economic and demographic information on businesses and business ownership in all major U.S.... Read More ›

Number of Open Construction Jobs Climbs in June

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:20
The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector increasing significantly in June, after falling in May. 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 225,000 in June. The cycle high was 238,000, set in July of last year. The June count is the highest since... Read More ›

LMI Indicates Continued Improvement Across the Country

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 10:00
According to the NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), 89 percent, 299 metropolitan statistical areas, recorded growth in their LMI Score over the second quarter of 2017. The index uses single-family housing permits, employment, and home prices to measure proximity to a normal economic and housing market. The index is calculated for 337 local markets, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), as... Read More ›

Solid Job Gains in July

Fri, 08/04/2017 - 12:18
At the start of the third quarter, employment gains and the unemployment rate ticked down. According to the Employment Situation for July 2017 reported by the BLS, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in July, after an upwardly revised 231,000 gains in June. Employment growth averaged 184,000 so far this year, close to the average monthly growth in 2016.... Read More ›

Top Ten Sources of Softwood Lumber Imports

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 15:10
The softwood lumber trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada has sent prices significantly higher in the first seven months of 2017.  The Random Lengths Composite Price—a weighted-average measure consisting of multiple species and dimensions of softwood lumber products—increased 14% over just three weeks in February.  Certain framing lumber—such as spruce-pine-fir (S-P-F) studs—remains 40% more expensive than it was seven... Read More ›

Senior Loan Officer Survey As A Barometer of the Economy

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 12:30
Lending standards on business loans to large and medium-sized firms eased on net over the second quarter of 2017 according to the Federal Reserve Board’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey. Historical evidence has shown that lending standards on business loans to these establishments is correlated with both the growth in the stock of business loans held by banks and with... Read More ›

Builder Confidence in the 55+ Housing Market Strengthens in Second Quarter

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 10:05
The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) single-family 55+ housing market index (55+ HMI) posted a reading of 66 in the second quarter of 2017, up 11 points from the previous quarter. This is the 13th consecutive quarter with a reading above 50, which means that more builders view conditions as good than poor (Figure 1).   There are two... Read More ›

June Personal Income and Consumption Expenditures Nearly Flat

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 10:00
According to the most recent data release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), personal income remained virtually unchanged (-0.02%) since the last month. This is the first time that personal income failed to rise after a steady growth for 6 consecutive months. The BEA reported that the decrease in personal income in June primarily reflected decreases in personal dividend... Read More ›