Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Increased Sales Leave First-Time Buyers Behind

Existing home sales increased to the highest level of the year, having posted gains for five of the last six months, despite weakness among first-time buyers. Existing home sales increased 2.4% in September, but remain 1.7% below the same period a year ago. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported September 2014 total existing home sales at a seasonally adjusted… Read More ›

Regional Differences in New Home Financing

According to NAHB analysis of the 2013 Census Bureau Survey of Construction (SOC) data, use of non-conventional financing methods to purchase new homes varies widely across the country. The West South Central divison is most heavily reliant on mortages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) with the share of FHA-insured loans reaching almost 20 percent. At the same time,… Read More ›

Where are Homes Built on Private Wells and with Individual Septic Systems?

According to NAHB analysis of the Survey of Construction (SOC) data, only 8 percent of new single-family homes started in 2013 are served by individual wells and only 15 percent have private septic systems. These shares, however, vary widely across the nine Census divisions and reach 42 and 51 percent, respectively, in New England. The SOC which is conducted by… Read More ›

Housing Construction Steady

The September housing construction report from Census Bureau and HUD rebounded from the unusually low August level and returned to the slow but steady path expected. Total starts rose just above 1 million for the third time in 2014 to an annual level of 1,017,000. Single-family starts increased slightly to 646,000 establishing a third quarter average of 646,000, a 3.4… Read More ›

New Study Highlights Benefits of the Affordable Housing Credit

A new study of California affordable housing developments provides important findings concerning the role and benefits of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). The affordable housing credit ensures a supply of equity financing for the development of needed rental housing. The report was prepared for the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, the… Read More ›

Inflation at the Producer Level in September – Gypsum Prices, Here We Go Again

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Producer Price Indexes (PPI) for September. Inflation in prices received by producers (prior to sales to consumers) declined 0.1% in September from August led by declines in food and energy prices. Over the 12 months ending in September prices were up 1.6%. Softwood lumber prices rose 1.3% in September but have moved… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: Hiring Gains a Positive for Housing

Good employment data offer a positive for housing as the market transitions from summer to fall. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 248,000 net jobs were created in September. August gains were revised from a disappointing 142,000 to a slightly better 180,000, while July’s tally was also revised from 212,000 to 243,000. The separate BLS household survey indicated… Read More ›

Apartment Absorption Rates for the Second Quarter

Absorption rates for new rental and for-sale multifamily homes remained high during the second quarter of 2014, consistent with the ongoing expansion of the multifamily sector. According to NAHB analysis of data from the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development Survey of Market Absorption of Apartments (SOMA), completions of privately financed, unsubsidized, unfurnished rental apartments in buildings… Read More ›

Minutes to FOMC – Zombie Headwinds

They just won’t die. The seemingly endless parade of impediments holding back a more robust economic recovery have included existential threats to the Eurozone, financial crises, natural disasters, turmoil in the Middle East and Ukraine, polar vortexes, and now renewed recession and the threat of deflation in the Eurozone, US currency appreciation and slowing global growth. As the US economy… Read More ›

In 6 Months, Mortgage Standards Cost Builders 18,000 Sales

In an August survey asking single-family builders to describe mortgage lending standards in the areas where they build, well over half indicated that standards were tight or very tight.  Only 11 percent indicated that lending standards were somewhat easy and none described them as very easy. The survey took the form of special questions appended to the monthly instrument used… Read More ›