Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Mortgages Rates Rise in 2017, but Remain Low Overall

Information provided by the Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) indicates that mortgage rates on purchases of newly built homes rose 7 basis points in November to 4.00 percent. At this level, rates remain below the 4.18 cycle peak level recorded in February. Meanwhile, a more commonly used rate reported by Freddie Mac indicates that mortgage rates rose by 2 basis… Read More ›

Builder Confidence Remains Strong as New Year Starts

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes dropped two points to a level of 72 in January on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) after reaching an 18-year high in December 2017. Builders confidence remained strong given changes to the tax code will promote the small business sector and boost broader economic growth. Nonetheless, home… Read More ›

Core Inflation Remains Steady

Consumer prices, measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Consumer Price Index – Urban Consumer (CPI), rose by 2.1 percent on an unadjusted basis over the 12 months of 2017, and has broadly accelerated from the 1.63 percent reading in June 2017. Energy prices contributed to the increase in the headline measure of consumer inflation, climbing 6.9 percent over… Read More ›

Employment Rose in Most States

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 32 states and decreased in 17 states and the District of Columbia in November 2017 compared to October 2017 while the level of employment in Maine remained unchanged. Year-over-year, 47 states increased employment while four states lost payroll employment during this time. As a result payroll employment nationwide… Read More ›

Reluctant Return of Native-Born Construction Workers Drives the Immigrant Share Up

New NAHB research shows that the share of foreign-born workers in the US construction labor force has been rising since the housing recovery got underway. Immigrant workers now account for close to one in four workers, the highest share recorded by the American Community Survey (ACS). The time-series analysis shows that the rising share of immigrants in construction cannot be… Read More ›

States in the South and West Led 2017 Population Growth

The U.S. population grew by 2.3 million between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, representing a 0.7% increase from 323.4 million to 325.7 million according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s national and state population estimates. Despite some volatility, U.S. population growth has been slowly declining since 1992 as shown by the chart below. Over the 1990 to 1999 period… Read More ›

Pending Sales Up 0.2% in November

The Pending Home Sales Index increased slightly by 0.2% in November, and is 0.8% above a year ago. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) is a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The PHSI increased 4.1% in the Northeast and 0.4% in the Midwest, but decreased 0.4% in the South and 1.8%… Read More ›

New Home Sales Hit Post-Recession High in November

Contracts for new, single-family home sales expanded by 17.5% in November to a 733,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to estimates from the joint release of HUD and the Census Bureau. The particularly strong growth rate was due to a large downward revision for the October estimate (624,000, originally 685,000). However, the November sales rate was the fastest pace since July 2007. The expansion is… Read More ›

Housing Share of GDP: Third Quarter 2017

With the release of the final estimate of third quarter 2017 GDP (a 3.2% annual growth rate), housing’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) declined slightly to 15.3%. However, the home building and remodeling component – residential fixed investment – held steady at 3.4%. Housing-related activities contribute to GDP in two basic ways. The first is through residential fixed investment (RFI). RFI is effectively the… Read More ›