Policy rss

Fed Keeps Rate Steady: Higher Rates Expected

As was widely expected, the Federal Open Market Committee (“FOMC”), the monetary policy making body of the Federal Reserve, maintained the federal funds rate at a range of 1.50 to 1.75 percent following its meeting that convened on May 1-2, a rate it deems “accommodative”. Going forward, the FOMC expects that, with further gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary… Read More ›

Fed Raises Key Policy Rate

As was widely expected, the Federal Open Market Committee (the FOMC) raised its key interest rate 25 basis points to a range of 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent following its March meeting. The Fed noted that its decision reflected “realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation”, but that the current level of the federal funds rate remains “accommodative”, supporting… Read More ›

Builders Starting to Report Shortages of Framing Lumber

For several years now, the recovery in single-family home building has been hampered by shortages of labor and lots.  Availability of building materials, meanwhile, has not been much of an issue.  But that may be starting to change. In answer to questions on the May 2017 survey for the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, 21% of single-family builders reported a shortage… Read More ›

Fed Raises Rates, Announces Balance Sheet Reduction Plan

The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy committee announced two moves today with implications for housing. Neither represented a surprise for markets. First, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced the second rate increase for the short-term federal funds rate for 2017, raising the target rate to a 1% to 1.25% range. While the Fed continues to raise short-term rates, the current stance of… Read More ›

Impact of the Duty on Canadian Lumber Announced April 25

On April 25, the Department of Commerce levied a 19.88% duty rate against Canadian softwood lumber exports to the United States. Due to “special circumstances,” the duties will be retroactive 90 days from the date that the rates are officially published in the Federal Register, likely back to the beginning of February. Five Canadian lumber producing companies will face specific… Read More ›

The Average Builder Uses 10 Different Green Products and Practices

On average, single-family builders use 10.2 different green products or practices, and 22 percent always or almost always have their homes certified to a green standard, according to a recent NAHB survey. The survey consisted of special questions on the January survey for the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. A total of 337 single-family builders responded to these questions, one… Read More ›

NAHB Survey: AD&C Financing Standards Continue to Ease

Builders and developers continue to report easing credit conditions for acquisition, development, and construction (AD&C) loans according to NAHB’s survey on AD&C Financing. However, the pace of easing slowed somewhat in the third quarter of 2016 from the rate in the second quarter. In the third quarter of 2016, the overall net tightening index based on the AD&C survey was… Read More ›