Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Construction Sector Labor Market Turnover

The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector fell slightly in March, after an upward revision to the February estimate. Moreover, the rate of quits is rising as tight labor market conditions continue. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs (on a seasonally adjusted basis) stood at 172,000 in March. The… Read More ›

Consumer Credit Balances, Debt Service Ratio Climb

According to the Federal Reserve Board’s G.19 Consumer Credit report, the total amount of consumer credit outstanding rose by 5.2 percent (SAAR) over the 1st quarter of 2017, 2.4 percentage points less than the 6.6 percent rate of growth in the 4th quarter of 2016. Consumer credit outstanding now totals $3.8 trillion. After declining on a quarterly basis over 2009… Read More ›

Remodeling in 2016: Kitchens Reclaim Top Spot from Baths

May is National Home Remodeling Month.  For the month’s first related post, we report on the most common types of remodeling projects performed by NAHB Remodelers in 2016.  The results come from a special question added to NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI) survey for the first quarter of 2017. The results show kitchens edging out baths for the top spot… Read More ›

Nationwide Recovery Continues

For the country as a whole, the NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), released today, rose .01 point over the quarter to 1.0. Over the past year, the LMI grew by .05 point. The index uses single-family housing permits, employment, and home prices to measure proximity to a normal economic and housing market. The index is calculated for both the entire… Read More ›

Rates Tick Down in March

Following 4 consecutive monthly increases, results from the Mortgage Interest Rate Survey (MIRS) released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) indicate that mortgage rates fell in March 2017*. Over the month, contract rates on mortgages used to purchase single-family newly constructed homes declined by 6 basis points to 4.12 percent. Despite the decline, rates remain above the low of 3.54 percent in… Read More ›

Homeownership Rate Stable

According to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS), the U.S. homeownership rate was 63.6% in the first quarter 2017, which is statistically no different from its last quarter reading of 63.7%. The rate of homeownership appears to be stabilizing after reaching a cycle low of 62.9% in the second quarter of 2016. Compared to the peak at the end… Read More ›

Pending Sales Pause

The Pending Home Sales Index decreased 0.8% in March 2017, but remains 0.8% above its level a year ago. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), decreased to 111.4 in March, down from 112.3 in February. The PHSI increased in the South by 1.2%, but fell… Read More ›

Strong March for New Home Sales

Contracts for new home sales expanded by 5.8% in March, according to estimates from the joint data release of HUD and the Census Bureau. The growth in sales continues along a positive trend for the market, which is supported by solid job growth, improving household formations, continuing favorable housing affordability conditions, and tight existing home inventory. The seasonally adjusted annual pace for March new single-family… Read More ›

Impact of the Duty on Canadian Lumber Announced April 25

On April 25, the Department of Commerce levied a 19.88% duty rate against Canadian softwood lumber exports to the United States. Due to “special circumstances,” the duties will be retroactive 90 days from the date that the rates are officially published in the Federal Register, likely back to the beginning of February. Five Canadian lumber producing companies will face specific… Read More ›

USDA Single Family Programs: Trends in Loans for Newly Constructed Homes

A recent NAHB study tracks trends in loans for new construction obligated under the USDA Single-family programs, the Section 502 Direct Loan Program and the Section 502 Guaranteed Loan Program. The report finds that, similar to the Federal Housing Administration’s single-family loan program, the USDA programs supported homeownership at a time when obtaining a conventional loan became increasingly difficult. However,… Read More ›