Data rss

March Sales Roar Like a Lion

Existing home sales, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), surged 4.4% in March to the highest pace in ten years. At the current sales rate, the March unsold inventory represents a 3.8-month supply, unchanged from February. March existing sales were up 5.9% from the same month a year ago, and reached a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.71… Read More ›

Young Adults & the Construction Trades

NAHB conducted a national poll of young adults ages 18 to 25 to find out how this age group feels about a career in the construction trades. The majority of young adults (74%) say they know the field in which they want to have a career.  Of these, only 3% are interested in the construction trades. Most of the young… Read More ›

Housing Starts Fall in March After a Strong February

Total housing starts declined in March, after a strong pace was recorded in February. Total starts were down almost 7%, falling to a 1.215 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. Single-family starts posted a monthly decline of 6% in March, falling to an 821,000 annual rate. The February annualized rate, 875,000, was the fastest monthly pace since… Read More ›

Builder Confidence Holds Firm in April

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes remained solid in April, falling three points to a level of 68 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) after an unusually high March reading. Builders continue to report significant interest among potential home buyers, with the traffic measure continuing to score above the breakeven level of… Read More ›

Energy and Core Prices Down in March

A sharp decline in energy prices pushed headline inflation negative in March, while core prices (excluding food and energy) fell based on a steep decline in the price of wireless telephone services. The consumer price index (CPI) declined at a 3.4% annual rate. Core prices declined at a 1.5% annual rate. Gasoline prices, declining at a 53.5% annual rate, were… Read More ›

The Distribution of Residential Construction Loans Among Banks

Smaller banks, those with assets of less than $10 billion, hold the majority of residential construction loans, according to NAHB analysis of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) data. Unlike mortgages, a larger proportion of residential construction loans at FDIC-insured institutions are held by banks with assets between $100 million and $10 billion. In addition, a greater proportion of mid-sized banks… Read More ›

Non-Mortgage Consumer Debt Accelerates

The total amount of consumer credit outstanding rose in February 2017 reflecting growth in both non-revolving credit, auto loans and student loans, and revolving credit, mostly credit cards. However, the growth rate of non-revolving credit, which is the larger of the two classes, exceeded the percentage increase of revolving credit. According to the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Credit release, the total… Read More ›

Construction Job Openings Post Small Increase

The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector increased slightly in February, after two months of lower levels of open positions. 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) rose to 169,000 in February. The cycle high is 238,000, set in July of last year. The open position… Read More ›

The Employment Situation in March – Weather, Or Not

Unusually warm weather in January and February may have accelerated hiring in those months at the expense of additions to March payroll gains. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that severe weather (e.g., the mid-March snow storms in the Midwest and Northeast) is more likely to reduce hours worked than workers on payrolls, but that “it is not possible… Read More ›

Leverage Ratios Rise in 2016

Information provided by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) indicates that the loan amount relative to the purchase price of the home, leverage or the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, rose in 2016 to 79.2 percent, 140 basis points above the rate in 2015, 77.8 percent*/**. The increase over 2016 largely reflected growth in the LTV ratio on purchases of previously occupied… Read More ›