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FOMC Statement: All Eyes on December

The statement released following the September meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) fell in line with market expectations as the committee chose to keep the federal funds rate unchanged.  The Committee’s assessment of the economy remained positive, leaving a December rate hike very much in play.  In the statement, the Committee continued its upbeat assessment of labor and economic activity…. Read More ›

Home Equity Growth Even as Homeownership Declines

According to the Federal Reserve Board’s second quarter of 2016 release of its Financial Accounts of the United States report, household holdings of real estate, measured on a not seasonally adjusted basis, totaled $22.290 trillion in the second quarter of 2016, $1.388 trillion higher than its level in the second quarter of 2015, $20.902 trillion. At the same time, home mortgage debt… Read More ›

Completions of Units in Large, For-Rent Multifamily Buildings Reached High Point in 2015

Each year the US Census Bureau collects data on the number of units completed in multifamily buildings in its Survey of Construction (SOC). In 2015, 304,000 for-rent multifamily units were completed. Eight percent of these completions were in buildings with 9 or fewer units, 30 percent were in buildings with 10 to 29 units, 15 percent were in buildings with… Read More ›

Apartment Absorption Rate Remains Stable

Recently released data from the US Census Bureau’s Survey of Market Absorption (SOMA) shows that 54,300 privately financed, non-subsidized rental apartments in buildings with 5 or more units were completed in the first quarter of 2016. Compared to the previous quarter, completions (seasonally adjusted) decreased by 19 percent. However, completions increased by 25 percent year-over-year, from 43,300 in the first… Read More ›

Credit Standards on AD&C Construction Lending: A Tale of Two Sectors

According to NAHB’s Survey on Acquisition, Development & Construction Financing, residential real estate builders and developers reported that credit conditions for acquisition, development, and single-family construction (AD&C) loans were easier in the second quarter of 2016 than in the first quarter of 2016. Hence the NAHB net tightening index dropped from its level in the first quarter. Following 5 consecutive… Read More ›

Apartment and Condominium Market Dips Slightly in the Second Quarter

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Multifamily Production Index (MPI) dropped three points to 50 in the second quarter of 2016 (Exhibit 1). This is the 18th consecutive reading of 50 or above, which means that more builders and developers report that current conditions in the apartment and condominium market are improving than report conditions are getting worse. Exhibit… Read More ›

Mortgage Debt Continues to Grow

According to the Household Debt and Credit Report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRB NY), the outstanding amount of housing-related debt, both home mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), totaled $8.8 trillion in the second quarter of 2016, 2.6% ($225 billion) greater than the level from one year ago. However, the outstanding amount of home equity… Read More ›

Producer Prices Surprise in July

Contrary to economists’ expectations of a small gain, inflation in prices received by producers (prior to sales to consumers) fell 0.4% in July, nearly erasing June’s 0.5% increase. According to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the decline was a result of nearly identical drops in prices of services and goods of 0.3%… Read More ›

Second Quarter Results Show 55+ Housing Market Remains in Positive Territory

The National Association of Home Builder’s single-family 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) increased one point to 57 in the second quarter of 2016 (Figure 1). This is the ninth consecutive quarter with a reading above 50. An index number above 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor. Figure 1: 55+ Housing Market Index: Single-family, Seasonally Adjusted… Read More ›