Posting the seventh consecutive quarter of growth, the volume of residential AD&C loans outstanding expanded 2.3% for the final quarter of 2014.
The tight availability of acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) loans has been a factor holding back a stronger rebound in home construction. However, the stock of residential AD&C loans has been rising over the last two years.
According to data from the FDIC and NAHB analysis, the outstanding stock of 1-4 unit residential AD&C loans made by FDIC-insured institutions rose by $1.158 billion during the fourth quarter of 2014, a quarterly increase of 2.32%.
On a year-over-year basis, the stock of residential AD&C loans is up 17% from the final quarter of 2013.
Since the first quarter of 2013, the stock of outstanding home building AD&C loans has grown by 25.5%, an increase of $10.4 billion.
It is worth noting the FDIC data represent only the stock of loans, not changes in the underlying flows, so it is an imperfect data source. Nonetheless, the consistent growth in the outstanding stock of AD&C loans is a positive development. NAHB surveys of builders also suggest improving lending conditions.
However, lending remains much reduced from years past. The current stock of existing residential AD&C loans of $51.2 billion now stands 74.9% lower than the peak level of AD&C lending of $203.8 billion reached during the first quarter of 2008.
The FDIC data reveal that the total decline from peak lending for home building AD&C loans continues to exceed that of other AD&C loans (nonresidential, land development, and multifamily). Such forms of AD&C lending are off a smaller 57% from peak lending. This class of AD&C loans has now registered six quarters of increases (3.76% for the fourth quarter of 2014).
Some land development loans connected to home building are grouped in this other class. NAHB survey data indicate land development loans face tighter lending conditions than loans for residential construction purposes.
Despite the recent increases in residential AD&C lending, there exists a lending gap between home building demand and available credit. This lending gap is being made up with other sources of capital, including equity, investments from non-FDIC insured institutions and lending from other private sources, which may in some cases offer less favorable terms for home builders than traditional AD&C loans.