Tag Archive for ‘economics’

A More Robust Year for Housing in 2015

NAHB hosted an economic and housing outlook seminar at its International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas inviting Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac, and David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance, to join David Crowe to discuss the outlook for 2015. Here’s the highlights. A strengthening labor market, low interest rates, improving mortgage availability and growing pent-up demand will… Read More ›

Existing Sales Momentum

Completing an improved second half of 2014, existing home sales increased 2.4% in December, although the share of sales for first-time buyers continued to disappoint. Existing home sales exceeded a 5 million sales pace for the sixth time in the past seven months, and were 3.5% above the same period a year ago. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported… Read More ›

Housing Finishes 2014 Up

Total housing stats for 2014 topped the one million mark for the first time since 2007. Census and HUD reported December housing starts and revised estimates for October and November that pushed total construction to 1,005,800 for 2014. December levels were up 4.4% from November at 1,089,000. The late year push was led by single-family construction up 7.2% in December… Read More ›

Builders’ Sentiment Holding Steady

Builders’ attitudes about the housing market remain nearly the same since September. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index starts the New Year at 57, down one point from an upwardly revised December of 58. Builders remain relatively optimistic about the current market as the component gauging current home sales remained at 62 from a one point upwardly revised value. Builders… Read More ›

New Research Highlights Finance Constraints on Housing Demand

An interesting new paper published by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York demonstrates the important role downpayment and wealth constraints play in shaping housing demand, particularly for lower-income homebuyers. Using survey data, the authors (Andreas Fuster and Basit Zafar) employ a strategy to measure housing demand impacts that contrasts with the often used user cost model of housing in… Read More ›

Remodelers See Market Improving

NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI) was 60 in the final quarter of 2014, indicating widespread confidence among remodelers that the market was improving compared to the previous quarter. The RMI and each of its components lies on a scale of 0 to 100, where a number above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity has improved (compared to the… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: Labor Market Gains and Rising Consumer Confidence

Rising consumer confidence and recent labor market gains are positive developments for rental and owner-occupied housing demand going into 2015. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index December reading rose to the most favorable level since its last cyclical peak in January 2007. The survey indicated consumers anticipated a significant income increases in 2015. The separate Conference Board Consumer… Read More ›

Rising Number of Open Jobs in Construction

The number of open, unfilled construction sector positions increased in November and was revised up for October. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs for November (on a seasonally adjusted basis) rose to 145,000. The November level marks the 3rd highest total of unfilled jobs in construction during the post-recession period…. Read More ›

The Construction Immigrant Worker Flow

New NAHB research estimates the immigrant labor flow into the construction industry over the housing boom and bust years. The results show that more than 135,000 immigrant workers entered the US construction industry at the height of the housing boom in 2005. By 2011, the construction immigrant flow plummeted to a low of 23,000, highlighting the role of new immigrant… Read More ›