Data rss

Millennials and the American Dream

A recent survey of younger Americans illustrates that the goal of homeownership remains an important part of the American Dream. The economic future of Millennials is key to the future of housing demand. A record number of individuals aged 18 to 34 years are delaying household formation as a consequence of the Great Recession. In a recent post, we referred to… Read More ›

Cash Investors Withdraw

Existing home sales declined for the first time in four months as all-cash investors continue to retreat, further opening up the market for first-time buyers. Returning first-time homebuyers to the existing home sales sector is important because prospective repeat buyers must sell their existing homes before buying newly built homes. Existing home sales decreased 1.8% in August, and are 5.3%… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: Builders Look Forward

Housing starts fell in August, according to the most recent government data, but the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) rose to a post-recession high. The market data suggest future increases in single-family building as the sector expands to higher levels of activity more consistent with long-run rates of household formation and population growth. For August, the Census Bureau and… Read More ›

Federal Open Market Committee September Meeting Concludes – Moving Right Along

The September meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) concluded with the release of the traditional summary statement, Chairwoman Yellen’s press conference, and the economic projections of the meeting participants. The Fed also released a brief update to its June 2011 plans for normalizing monetary policy. There was little changed in the language of the statement. The economy is… Read More ›

Builders Believe

Builders’ sentiment jumped four points to 59, the highest level since November 2005, according to the September NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Many of the builders commented on the renewed interest by potential home buyers and higher traffic in their models and through their phone calls. Supporting those comments, all three components rose led by the traffic measure increasing to… Read More ›

Inflation at the Producer Level in August – Builder Materials Prices Soft, Fewer Shortages

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Producer Price Indexes (PPI) for August. Inflation in prices received by producers (prior to sales to consumers) was flat in August from July. Over the 12 months ending in August prices were up 1.8%. Softwood lumber prices rose 2.4% in August but are down modestly from an earlier March peak. OSB prices… Read More ›

Consumer Credit Grows

Data released by the Federal Reserve Board indicates that consumer credit outstanding expanded over the month of July. On a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis, total consumer credit, which excludes housing related credit such as mortgages and home equity lines of credit, rose by 10%, $312 billion, over the month. Non-revolving credit outstanding, largely composed of auto loans and student… Read More ›

Unfilled Construction Sector Jobs Increase

The estimate of the number of open, unfilled construction sector jobs was revised significantly higher for the month of June and remained elevated in July. While hiring and separations increased for the sector, the current count of unfilled construction jobs is among the highest since 2008. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), the number of open… Read More ›

The Employment Situation for August – A Disappointing Surprise

Job growth slowed and the unemployment rate ticked down; job growth is the more important signal. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Employment Situation report for August. The establishment survey showed payroll employment expanded by 142 thousand, well below expectations. The June figure was revised down from 298 thousand to 267 thousand, and July was revised up from… Read More ›