Data rss

Existing Sales Trend Up for First-Time Buyers

Although existing home sales decreased in November, the share of sales for first-time buyers increased to the highest level since October 2012. Existing home sales decreased 6.1% in November, but were 2.1% above the same period a year ago. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported November 2014 total existing home sales at a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.93 million… Read More ›

Is it Easy to Obtain a Mortgage?

For many households, obtaining a mortgage is the most important step when seeking to purchase a home. As housing analysts, a natural question to ask when assessing the prospects for home buying is “how easy is it for households to obtain a mortgage?” The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) or Fannie Mae attempts to shed light on this question with… Read More ›

Federal Open Market Committee – Patience and Inflation

The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) concluded its December meeting releasing a standard summary statement and Chairwoman Janet Yellen presided over a post-meeting press conference. With the asset purchase program a thing of the past as of October the all-consuming question among Fed watchers now is when to expect “liftoff”, the first increase in the… Read More ›

Solid Housing Starts Report for November

Data for housing construction activity in November indicated ongoing high levels of activity as builder confidence remains positive. According to the data from the Census Bureau and HUD, the pace of total November housing starts was down slightly (1.6%) from an upwardly revised October number. The October housing starts estimate was revised up from the initial reading of 1.009 million units (on a… Read More ›

Builder Confidence Drops One Point in December

Following a four-point uptick last month, builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes fell one point in December to a level of 57 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). After a sluggish start to 2014, the HMI has stabilized in the mid-to-high 50s index level trend for the past six months,… Read More ›

Inflation at the Producer Level in November – Gas Powered Declines Don’t Help Wood Products Prices

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Producer Price Indexes (PPI) for November. Inflation in prices received by producers (prior to sales to consumers) declined 0.2% in November from October driven by falling energy prices. Excluding food and energy, core price were down 0.1%. Softwood lumber prices dipped 2.1% for the month but have mostly moved sideways in 2014,… Read More ›

Construction Job Openings Rise in October

The number of open, unfilled construction sector positions increased in October. The number of construction sector job openings was also revised higher for September. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs for October (on a seasonally adjusted basis) rose to 136,000, after the September count was revised higher to… Read More ›

Households Show Willingness to Take on Most Forms of Debt

Data released by the Federal Reserve Board indicates that consumer credit outstanding increased over the month of October 2014. The data released by the Federal Reserve Board covers most short- and intermediate-term credit extended to individuals, excluding loans secured by real estate. According to the release, total consumer credit outstanding expanded by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5%. Both… Read More ›