Policy rss

Increase in Energy Prices Drives Producer Price Index Higher

Inflation in prices received by producers (prior to sales to consumers) rose 0.4 percent in May according to the latest Producer Price Index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The increase—double that of the 0.2 rise in April—was 60-percent driven by the prices of goods, which climbed 0.7 percent.  The final demand index for services increased by a more modest… Read More ›

Independent Mortgage Companies Account for Most Home Purchase Mortgage Lending

In recent years, housing analysts have reported on the expansion in mortgage lending activity by nonbank financial institutions. Given recent activity, regulatory officials have expressed their interest in the lending activities at nonbank financial institutions. Nonbank consumer lenders can include pools such as hedge funds and they also include specialty finance companies such as auto finance companies. Another nonbank lending… Read More ›

15% Tariff on Canadian Lumber Would Cost 4,666 U.S. Jobs

Recent NAHB estimates show that a 15% tariff on softwood lumber imported from Canada would have resulted in a loss of had it been applied to all Canadian producers in 2014.  NAHB analyzed 15%, because that was the maximum tariff in the Softwood Lumber Agreement that expired last year.  NAHB analyzed 2014, because that was a recent year with complete data, seemed representative… Read More ›

Share of Remodelers Reporting Labor Shortages Climbs Even Higher

Eighty percent of remodelers reported a shortage of finished carpenters (and 41 percent said the shortage was serious), according to special questions on NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI) survey in the 3rd quarter of 2015. That’s 8 percentage points higher than NAHB remodelers were reporting just a year ago. The RMI survey asked remodelers about availability of labor in the 12 categories recommended by Home… Read More ›

Slow Rise in Consumer Prices in July

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported consumer prices increased in July. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.6%, slower than 3.9% in June. Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the “core” CPI rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.6% in July. Energy prices were stabilized and rose at a… Read More ›

International Perspective: The VAT and Housing

***The following post was authored by NAHB’s Economics and Housing Policy Group’s summer intern, Emily Condos. Value Added Taxes (VAT) are a reliable source of revenue for many governments, with the United States being a notable exception with respect to their use. The taxation of housing is a key element in designing a VAT. An overly broad tax base with… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: Pace of Home Sales Weakens in June

***Eye on the Economy is a biweekly survey of NAHB’s economic and housing analysis. Newly constructed single-family homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 482,000 in June, down 6.8% from May’s 517,000. Despite the monthly decline, the June measure was up 18% from the comparable June 2014 pace of 408,000 new home sales. In general, new home sales have… Read More ›

New Residential Energy Tax Credit Estimates

In 2005, Congress established a number of energy-efficiency tax incentives related to housing that benefitted new home buyers and remodeling homeowners. These policies included the tax code section 45L credit for the construction of energy-efficient homes (including for-rent residences and low-rise apartments), the 25C credit for retrofitting/remodeling existing homes, and the 25D credit for the installation of power production property in… Read More ›