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A More Robust Year for Housing in 2015

NAHB hosted an economic and housing outlook seminar at its International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas inviting Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac, and David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance, to join David Crowe to discuss the outlook for 2015. Here’s the highlights. A strengthening labor market, low interest rates, improving mortgage availability and growing pent-up demand will… Read More ›

Gasoline Prices Down 21% for the Year

The consumer price index fell for the second consecutive month due to a large decrease in the price of gasoline. On a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis the consumer price index fell 0.4%. Over the past twelve months, prices on expenditures made by urban consumers increased just 0.8% before seasonal adjustments. The falling price of gasoline is positive for consumers in… Read More ›

Consumer Credit Outstanding Continues to Grow

According to the Federal Reserve Board, consumer credit outstanding expanded over the month of November 2014. However, the rate of expansion was slower in November than it was in October. On a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis, total consumer credit, which excludes housing related credit such as mortgages and home equity lines of credit, rose by 5.1%, $169 billion, over… Read More ›

Is it Easy to Obtain a Mortgage?

For many households, obtaining a mortgage is the most important step when seeking to purchase a home. As housing analysts, a natural question to ask when assessing the prospects for home buying is “how easy is it for households to obtain a mortgage?” The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) or Fannie Mae attempts to shed light on this question with… Read More ›

Falling Gas Prices Push CPI Down for the Month

The consumer price index was pushed down in November by falling gas prices. According to the latest release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the consumer price index declined 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis. Over the past twelve months, prices on expenditures made by urban consumers increased 1.3% before seasonal adjustments. In November, the energy price index… Read More ›

Home Equity Grows During the Third Quarter

According to NAHB tabulations of the third quarter Federal Reserve Flow of Funds, the real estate equity position of U.S. households (the difference between assets and liabilities) increased nearly 1.6% for the quarter. The market value of real estate held by U.S. households increased $180 billion dollars during the quarter, while liabilities (home mortgages) remained virtually unchanged. The value household-owned… Read More ›

Households Show Willingness to Take on Most Forms of Debt

Data released by the Federal Reserve Board indicates that consumer credit outstanding increased over the month of October 2014. The data released by the Federal Reserve Board covers most short- and intermediate-term credit extended to individuals, excluding loans secured by real estate. According to the release, total consumer credit outstanding expanded by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5%. Both… Read More ›

Why are Housing Sector Statistics Seasonally Adjusted?

As sure as foliage changes color in the fall and snow falls in the winter, economics statistics experience predictable changes during the year. To take these predictable changes into account, statistics are often seasonally adjusted. In seasonally adjusting economics statistics, analysts are better able to compare from one period to the next and better able to identify trends outside the… Read More ›