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Modest Increase in Housing Production

Housing starts and permits rose modestly in March after a very disappointing February. Total housing starts increased 2% to an annual rate of 926,000 from an upwardly revised 908,000 in February. Single-family starts improved slightly better at a 4.4% increase to 618,000 from a virtually unchanged 592,000 in February. Multifamily starts did drop again to 308,000, the lowest annualized monthly… Read More ›

Builders’ Sentiment Bounces Back

Home builders reversed their one month decline in sentiment as the April NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index increased 4 points to 56 from a one-point downwardly revised 52 in March. The bounce back up to the January-February average suggests the March observation was an outlier. All three components revived to or above the early part of 2015. Current sales index… Read More ›

House Prices Record Annual Gains, Expected to Rise in the Future

The recent release by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) shows that its measure of house prices, House Price Index – Purchase Only, rose by 5.1% on a 12-month seasonally adjusted basis in January 2015. This marks the 36th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Over this nearly three-year period, house prices have risen by 20.1%.   Similarly, the recent release from Standard and Poor’s (S&P)… Read More ›

New Home Sales Surge

Builders signed contracts on more homes in February 2015 than any time since early 2008 according to the Census Bureau and HUD. February seasonally-adjusted annual new home sales topped out at 539,000, up 7.8% from a healthy 500,000 in January. Sales increased a whopping 153% in the Northeast region but that was a make-up from an overabundance of snow in… Read More ›

U.S. Household Balance Sheet Improves Again

The balance sheet of U.S. households with real estate continues to improve – despite tight lending conditions – as increases in home prices continue. The real estate equity position of U.S. households (the difference between assets and liabilities) increased nearly 2.4% for the quarter according to NAHB tabulations of the fourth quarter Federal Reserve Flow of Funds. The value household-owned real… Read More ›

Average Monthly Electrical Bill by State – Updated Data

According to latest release from the U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average residential monthly electric bill was $110.21 in 2013. The most expensive utility bill for homeowners is the electric bill, accounting for roughly 9% of expenditure on housing according to NAHB tabulations of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on consumer expenditures. The average… Read More ›

Consumer Credit Expands on Auto, Student Loans

The Federal Reserve Board recently reported that consumer credit outstanding rose by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.2%, $138.7 billion, in January 2015. Consumer credit outstanding now totals $3.3 trillion. The expansion of total consumer credit outstanding reflected an increase in the outstanding amount of non-revolving consumer credit. Non-revolving consumer credit includes auto loans and student loans. According to… Read More ›

Vacancy and Homeownership Rates by State – 2014

According to the Census Bureau’s annual estimates from the Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS), the national homeowner vacancy rate is at its lowest point since 2005 and the rental vacancy rate is at its lowest point since 1995. The relatively tight housing and rental markets are occurring concurrently with falling homeownership rates. The homeownership has fallen for 10 straight years. The… Read More ›

Single-Family and Multifamily Construction Spending Continue to Increase

NAHB analysis of Census construction spending data found that on a 3-month moving average basis, from January 2014, single-family construction spending increased 11.4% and multifamily construction spending increased 28.9%. The seasonally adjusted annual spending for single-family construction was $204.9 billion and $48.9 billion for multifamily construction. Single-family and multifamily construction spending both experienced monthly increases over December estimates. Single-family spending… Read More ›

Further Signs of Normalization in House Price Growth

The recent release by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) shows that its measure of house prices, House Price Index – Purchase Only, rose by 5.4% on a 12-month seasonally adjusted basis in December 2014. This marks the 35th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Over this nearly three-year period, house prices have risen by 20.0% and have now surpassed their November 2005 level…. Read More ›