Tag Archive for ‘economics’

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 ›

Federal Open Market Committee – Patience and Inflation

The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) concluded its December meeting releasing a standard summary statement and Chairwoman Janet Yellen presided over a post-meeting press conference. With the asset purchase program a thing of the past as of October the all-consuming question among Fed watchers now is when to expect “liftoff”, the first increase in the… Read More ›

Solid Housing Starts Report for November

Data for housing construction activity in November indicated ongoing high levels of activity as builder confidence remains positive. According to the data from the Census Bureau and HUD, the pace of total November housing starts was down slightly (1.6%) from an upwardly revised October number. The October housing starts estimate was revised up from the initial reading of 1.009 million units (on a… Read More ›

Inflation at the Producer Level in November – Gas Powered Declines Don’t Help Wood Products Prices

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Producer Price Indexes (PPI) for November. Inflation in prices received by producers (prior to sales to consumers) declined 0.2% in November from October driven by falling energy prices. Excluding food and energy, core price were down 0.1%. Softwood lumber prices dipped 2.1% for the month but have mostly moved sideways in 2014,… 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 ›

Construction Job Openings Rise in October

The number of open, unfilled construction sector positions increased in October. The number of construction sector job openings was also revised higher for September. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs for October (on a seasonally adjusted basis) rose to 136,000, after the September count was revised higher to… Read More ›