Data rss

Who is (Not) in the Labor Force

The number of people not in the labor force has been growing. As of December 2016, 95.1 million people, aged 16 or older, were not in the labor force, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). An aging population is responsible for this growth, but what are the other reasons individuals cite for not being in the… Read More ›

Remodeling Market Remains Positive in Fourth Quarter

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI) dropped 4 points to 53 from the previous quarter, but remained above the breakeven point of 50, which indicates that more remodelers report activity is higher (compared to the prior quarter) than report activity is lower. Although the RMI declined, it is consistent with levels seen in the first… Read More ›

Single-Family Housing Starts Up 9% in 2016

Housing starts rebounded in December, as monthly volatility for multifamily starts continued. Total starts were up 11.3%, rising to a 1.226 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. However, single-family starts posted a small monthly decline in December, albeit recording the fourth strongest monthly pace since the end of the recession. According to estimates from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development,… Read More ›

Consumer Price Index Rose in December

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose in December. Both headline inflation and core inflation rose. The CPI rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.4% in December, following a 2.4% increase in November. Excluding the volatile food and energy components, “core” CPI increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.8%, faster… Read More ›

Builder Confidence Holds Firm in January

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes remained on firm ground in January, down two points to a level of 67 from a downwardly revised December reading of 69 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The solid reading is consistent with building expectations heading into the new year. NAHB expects 10 percent… Read More ›

Consumer Credit Grows but Some Risks Lurk

According to the Federal Reserve Board, consumer credit grew by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.9 percent over the month of November to $3.75 trillion. Revolving credit, which is largely composed of credit cards, grew by 13.5 percent while non-revolving credit, typically student loans and auto loans, rose by 5.9 percent. Although revolving credit grew faster than non-revolving credit… Read More ›

Builders Satisfy Demand for Open Floor Plans

According to a recent NAHB article, open floor plans are popular among home buyers, and the design of new single-family homes tends to be, if anything, even more open. For example, in a 2015 NAHB survey, 70 percent of recent and prospective homebuyers said they preferred a home with either a completely or partially open kitchen-family room arrangement with 32 percent preferring… Read More ›

Consumer Confidence in December – The Highest Level Since the Recession

Consumer confidence increased in December to the highest level since August 2001. Assessments of current conditions declined but consumers held improved views of the near future. The Consumer Confidence Index, reported by the Conference Board, hit 113.7 in December, higher than an upwardly revised 109.4 in November. The present situation index declined from 132.0 to 126.1 and the expectations index… Read More ›

The Employment Situation in December – Good Enough

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported payroll employment rose by 156 thousand in December and revisions to estimates for the prior two months were mixed but added a net 19 thousand. The unemployment rate rose to 4.7% from 4.6% in November, an increase that barely escaped rounding error magnitude. Average hourly earnings rose 2.9% over the year. A broader… Read More ›

Age of Housing Stock by State

According to the latest data from the 2015 American Community Survey (ACS), the median age of owner-occupied homes is 37 years. The age of housing stock is not evenly distributed across the United States. Among the states, New York has the oldest homes with a median age of 57 years old, followed by Massachusetts at 53 years. The median age… Read More ›