Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Millennials and the American Dream

A recent survey of younger Americans illustrates that the goal of homeownership remains an important part of the American Dream. The economic future of Millennials is key to the future of housing demand. A record number of individuals aged 18 to 34 years are delaying household formation as a consequence of the Great Recession. In a recent post, we referred to… Read More ›

Cash Investors Withdraw

Existing home sales declined for the first time in four months as all-cash investors continue to retreat, further opening up the market for first-time buyers. Returning first-time homebuyers to the existing home sales sector is important because prospective repeat buyers must sell their existing homes before buying newly built homes. Existing home sales decreased 1.8% in August, and are 5.3%… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: Builders Look Forward

Housing starts fell in August, according to the most recent government data, but the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) rose to a post-recession high. The market data suggest future increases in single-family building as the sector expands to higher levels of activity more consistent with long-run rates of household formation and population growth. For August, the Census Bureau and… Read More ›

U.S. Household Balance Sheet Improves

The second quarter Federal Reserve Flow of Funds shows continued improvement in the financial position of U.S. households with real estate as the market value of all owner-occupied residential real estate (household owned) rose to $20.2 trillion. According to NAHB tabulations of the quarterly series, the asset or market value of owner-occupied real estate held by U.S. households increased $170… Read More ›

Federal Open Market Committee September Meeting Concludes – Moving Right Along

The September meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) concluded with the release of the traditional summary statement, Chairwoman Yellen’s press conference, and the economic projections of the meeting participants. The Fed also released a brief update to its June 2011 plans for normalizing monetary policy. There was little changed in the language of the statement. The economy is… Read More ›

Rents Increase as the Consumer Price Index Falls

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that consumer prices decreased for the first time since April 2013. On a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis prices decreased 0.2% in August. Over the past twelve months, prices on expenditures made by urban consumers increased 1.7% before seasonal adjustments. In spite of the month-over-month decline in the consumer price index, the shelter index… Read More ›

Builders Believe

Builders’ sentiment jumped four points to 59, the highest level since November 2005, according to the September NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Many of the builders commented on the renewed interest by potential home buyers and higher traffic in their models and through their phone calls. Supporting those comments, all three components rose led by the traffic measure increasing to… Read More ›

Inflation at the Producer Level in August – Builder Materials Prices Soft, Fewer Shortages

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Producer Price Indexes (PPI) for August. Inflation in prices received by producers (prior to sales to consumers) was flat in August from July. Over the 12 months ending in August prices were up 1.8%. Softwood lumber prices rose 2.4% in August but are down modestly from an earlier March peak. OSB prices… Read More ›

Furniture and Appliance Purchases off Lows

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported results from the 2013 consumer expenditure survey. In 2013, the average annual expenditure on housing increased 1.5% to $17,148. As a share of total expenditures housing was 33.6%; an increase from the 2012 share of 32.8%. The increase in housing expenditures is the result of rising home prices and rents as well as… Read More ›