Data rss

GDP Growth in the Fourth Quarter – Third Estimate

In the third estimate of real GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2014 the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.2%, unchanged from the second estimate. The composition of growth changed marginally, but the overall performance of the economy in the fourth quarter was unchanged. Upward revisions to personal consumption expenditures (PCE), residential… Read More ›

Property Taxes Make Up 40% of State and Local Tax Revenues

According to NAHB tabulations of the Census Bureau’s quarterly data, property taxes constituted 39.7% of state and local tax receipts among major sources for 2014. Sales taxes had the second largest share at 27.8%, followed closely by individual income tax at 27.9%. At 4.6%, corporate income taxes held the smallest share of state and local tax receipts among major sources. Further gains are expected in… Read More ›

Will Prices Trigger Fed Impatience?

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2% in February, and was unchanged over the past 12 months. According to the latest release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the seasonally adjusted increase in February was broad-based, including energy. The energy index increased 1.0% after seven consecutive monthly declines. The gasoline index, a component of the… Read More ›

Existing Sales Survive Winter

Existing home sales increased 1.2% in February, and the share of sales for first-time buyers registered its first gain since last November. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported February 2015 total existing home sales at a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.88 million units combined for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, up from 4.82 million units in January. February… Read More ›

Working at Home: Who Claims the Home Office Deduction?

With tax preparation season well underway, it is a good time to examine the use of the home office deduction. Often cited as a “red flag” for tax audits, the home office deduction is in fact a legitimate business deduction with particular importance for certain careers and small business owners. Moreover – from the housing economics perspective – IRS data… Read More ›

Veterans in the Construction Industry

Access to labor remains a persistent challenge for home builders and remodelers. Unfilled job openings in the construction sector has moved along an upward trend over the last two and half years. However, there is one group in particular that builders have turned to for workers: military veterans. According to 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey data and NAHB analysis, approximately 666,400… Read More ›

Federal Open Market Committee March Meeting – Where Has All The Mystery Gone?

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s main point at the press conference following the conclusion of the March 17-18 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting was that the Fed was prepared to be “less patient, but not impatient” with regard to the timing of the first hike in interest rates, presumably to rattle the cage of the June meeting consensus that… Read More ›