Tag Archive for ‘economics’

For Builders, Labor/Subcontractor Shortage Intensifies

A survey of single-family builders conducted by NAHB in June 2015 shows that shortages of labor and subcontractors—already quite widespread in mid-2014—have become even more widespread during the past year. The shortages are most acute for basic skills like carpentry, which are needed during the construction of any home.  For example, in the 2015 survey 69 percent of builders reported a… Read More ›

May Gains for Residential Construction Spending

NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total residential construction spending for May increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $366.1 billion. On a month-over-month basis, multifamily spending was $48.7 billion, up by 0.2% over the revised April estimate, while the single-family spending was $209.4 billion, an increase of 0.03% from April. Annually, multifamily spending rose 20.8%… Read More ›

Consumers Voice in June – Optimistic Outlook

Consumer sentiment and consumer confidence are two indexes showing consumers’ perceptions of current business, income and employment conditions, as well as their expectations for the future’s economy. In June, both the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment and the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose. These gains reflect continuing improvement in several sectors of the economy. Strong job gains… Read More ›

Housing Prices – Slowing to Sustainable Growth

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Standard and Poor’s/Case-Shiller recently released their respective home price indices for April. House prices have been recovering since reaching the bottom of the downturn in 2012. Both the new and existing single-family homes’ median sale prices are presented along with the home price index. All three indicators tell a similar story of rapid… Read More ›

Pending Sales Continue Momentum

The Pending Home Sales Index increased for the fifth straight month to the highest level in over nine years. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), increased 0.9% in May to 112.6, and climbed to 10.4% above the May level a year ago. Regionally, the May… Read More ›

Multifamily Market Absorption at the Start of 2015

Apartment absorptions continued to be strong at the end of 2014, as multifamily production levels remain elevated. According to NAHB analysis of the most recent 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 with five or more units totaled 209,100… Read More ›

Rates on New Home Loans Fall to Two-Year Low

Data released today by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) shows a one basis point decline in the average contract interest rate on conventional loans used to purchase newly built homes.   Small as this change was it took the contract rate on new home loans down to 3.77 percent in May—which is the lowest it’s been since June of 2013…. Read More ›

Final Estimate of Q1 GDP Growth: Not Hot and Not Cold, But Not “Just Right” Either

The U.S. economy shrank by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.2% over the first quarter of 2015. This third and final estimate of first quarter GDP growth is lower than the initial estimate but is higher than the second estimate. However, despite first quarter weakness, mortgage lenders believe that the U.S. economy is on the “right track”. In contrast,… Read More ›

Housing’s Share of GDP Expanded at the Start of 2015

With the release of the final estimates of first quarter 2015 GDP growth (a decline of -0.2%), housing’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) grew to 15.45%, with home building and remodeling yielding 3.14 percentage points of that total. Housing-related activities contribute to GDP in two basic ways. The first is through residential fixed investment (RFI). RFI is effectively the measure of the home building… Read More ›

New Home Sales Rise

The rate of new home sales increased in May to an annual level of 546,000, the highest since February 2008 as the housing market of the mid-2000s started to deflate. The May figure is 2.2% above April and puts the first two months of the second quarter at 3.8% ahead of the first quarter. Regional results were more varied with… Read More ›