Eye On Housing - A Blog from NAHB

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National Association of Home Builders Discusses Economics and Housing Policy
Updated: 1 hour 57 min ago

September Existing Sales Slightly Up

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 11:27
September existing sales increased slightly by 0.7% for the first time in four months, but the first-time buyer share decreased to 29% of sales, the lowest share since September 2015. The National Association of Realtors reported that parts of Texas and South Florida had temporary but notable declines due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Some 48% of homes sold last... Read More ›

Lots Account for 17% of New Home Sale Prices

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 08:45
Earlier this month we published two blogs highlighting record-small sizes and record-high prices of new single-family lots. Extending this analysis and incorporating data on new home sale prices shows that, on average, lot values accounted for less than 17% of sale prices of new single-family homes started in 2016, the lowest share since at least 1999. Regionally, the share of... Read More ›

Remodeling Market Index Maintains Strength in Third Quarter

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 10:07
The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) posted a reading of 57 in the third quarter of 2017, up two points from the previous quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders (Figure 1). For 18 consecutive quarters, the RMI has been at or above 50, which indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher than report it is lower... Read More ›

Residential Construction Lower on Hurricanes: Trends Remain in Place

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 10:26
Information released jointly by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau indicates that total housing starts fell by 4.7 percent reflecting a 4.6 percent decline in single-family starts and a 5.1 percent drop in multifamily starts. This release reflects three dynamics, the impact of the recent hurricanes, the continued national trend growth in single-family starts, and... Read More ›

Builder Confidence Rises Four Points in October

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 10:03
Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose four points to a level of 68 in October on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This was the highest reading since May. This current reading shows that home builder sentiment is rebounding from the initial reaction of concern due to hurricanes in Florida and Texas, including the anticipated effects of... Read More ›

Sale and Contract Prices per Square Foot in 2016

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 08:45
Looking at single-family homes started in 2016, the median prices per square foot, excluding improved lot values, range from $164 for contractor-built homes in the Pacific division to $81 for speculatively built homes in the East South Central division. At $164 per square foot, new contractor-built single-family homes in Pacific are the most expensive to build exceeding the national average... Read More ›

Most States Saw Permit Growth Over August YTD

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 13:15
According to the Census Bureau, over the first eight months of 2017 the total number of permits, which included single-family and multi-family, issued, nationwide on a not seasonally adjusted basis reached 852,825. This is 7.7% ahead of its level over the first eight months of 2016, 791,513. These data are taken from the Builder Permits Survey (BPS) instead of the... Read More ›

Six In Ten New Homes Are Built In Community Associations

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 09:00
According to data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC), 59.8 percent of all homes started in 2016 were built within a community or homeowner’s association. The Census Bureau defines community or homeowner’s associations as “formal legal entities created to maintain common areas of a development and to enforce private deed restrictions; these organizations are usually created when the... Read More ›

Gas Prices Drive Overall Inflation

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 19:05
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonally adjusted consumer prices faced by urban consumers (CPI) accelerated over the month of September 2017 reflecting an increase in the rate of gasoline price growth. However, the pace of acceleration slowed over the month reflecting in part a slowdown in the growth of shelter prices. Excluding the more volatile energy and food... Read More ›

Manufactured Homes Post August Increase

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:47
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, shipments of manufactured homes increased by 7.6% to an 85,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in August, from 79,000 in July. This rate of growth partially reverses the 10.2% decline recorded in July, however, the number of manufactured homes in August remains 21.3% below its post-recession peak of 108,000 reached in January 2017. Figure 1... Read More ›

OSB Prices Up Nearly 20% Since September 2016

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 16:49
The price of OSB increased 4.4% in September and has risen 19% and 38% since September and January 2016, respectively. The surge was in contrast with moderate increases in prices paid for gypsum products (+0.3%) and ready-mix concrete (+0.2%). The price of softwood lumber fell 0.9% in September, according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau... Read More ›

Construction Job Openings Reach New Cycle High

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 14:43
The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector continued to rise in August, reaching the highest level since February 2007. Given the significant need for repair and restoration work in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, we can expect additional increases in the months ahead. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number... Read More ›

Lot Values Stable at Record High

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 08:45
Single-family lot prices remained at record high levels in 2016, with half of the lots priced at or above $45,000. According to NAHB’s analysis of the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) data, the median lot value reached $45,000 for the first time in 2015 exceeding the previous record of $43,000 reached in 2006, in the midst of the housing... Read More ›

Hurricanes Impact Job Numbers in September

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 15:32
According to the Employment Situation for September 2017, reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), total nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 33,000 in September. According to the BLS, “A sharp employment decline in food services and drinking places and below-trend growth in some other industries likely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.” Employment growth has averaged 148,000... Read More ›

Share of New Homes with Porches Back Over 65 Percent

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 08:31
Of the roughly 780,000 single-family homes started in 2016, 65.1 percent included porches, according to NAHB tabulation of data from the Survey of Construction (SOC).  The SOC is conducted on an ongoing basis by the U.S. Census Bureau with partial funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Among other things, the SOC shows that, over the period when single-family starts were... Read More ›

Consumer Confidence Sheds Some Light on New Home Sales

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 13:30
The Conference Board recently reported that the Consumer Confidence Index declined slightly in September. The present situation index declined by 1.5% from 148.4 to 146.1, while the expectations index rose by 0.5% from 101.7 to 102.2. As a result, the Consumer Confidence Index decreased by 0.5% to 119.8 in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, from 120.4 last month. The... Read More ›

Large Builder Share Edges Upward in Major Markets

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 08:28
NAHB’s analysis of information published in Builder Magazine shows that, although major markets became slightly less concentrated overall, large builders tended to gain market share. Every year, Builder Magazine lists the top local home builders, measured by total closings, in the country’s 50 largest markets.  For each of them, NAHB calculates four summary measures.  The first is a basic four-firm concentration ratio... Read More ›

Mortgage Rates on New Home Purchases Remain Low

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 14:05
The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that contract rates on purchases of newly-built homes rose 7 basis points over the month of August 2017 to 4.01 percent. The average mortgage rate on purchases of newly built homes is 47 basis points above the low touched in October 2017. However, it remains 17 basis points below the recent high reached in... Read More ›

Lot Size is at a New Record Low

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 08:45
The median lot size of a new single-family detached home sold in 2016 stands at 8,562 square feet, or just under one-fifth of an acre. This is a new record low and a small decline since 2015, when the median lot size fell under 8,600 square feet for the first time since Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) started tracking... Read More ›

Residential Fixed Investment Slows in Second Quarter

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 08:30
The final estimate of second quarter 2017 GDP growth (revised up two-tenths of a percentage point to 1.4%), shows that housing’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) declined from 15.6% to 15.5%. Likewise, the home building and remodeling component—residential fixed investment (RFI)—fell 0.1 percentage point to 3.5% as a share of GDP.  The slower second-quarter growth of RFI subtracted 0.3 percentage point... Read More ›

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