Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Existing Sales Steady

Existing-home sales were unchanged in August, and are 1.5% below the level a year ago. The first-time buyer share of 31% was down from 32% last month and unchanged from a year ago. The National Association of Realtors reported that 52% of homes sold in August were on the market less than a month. The August inventory was also unchanged,… Read More ›

Builder Confidence Remains Firm in September

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes remained unchanged at a solid 67 reading in September on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Despite rising affordability concerns, builders continue to report firm demand for housing, especially as millennials and other newcomers enter the market. The recent decline in lumber prices from record-high levels… Read More ›

Construction Job Openings Rise Again in July

The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector increased in July, reaching yet another post-Great Recession high level. The rate of open construction sector jobs also matched a prior cyclical high. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs increased to 273,000 in July. The prior post-recession high… Read More ›

Labor and Subcontractor Costs Outpacing Inflation, Raising Home Prices

Last Thursday’s post reported on the record share of single-family builders reporting shortages of labor and subcontractors.in the July survey for the NAHB/Well Fargo Housing Market Index. The same survey asked builders about the effects the shortages were having on their businesses.  The most widespread effects were causing builders to pay higher wages/subcontractor bids (reported by 84 percent of builders),… Read More ›

Reported Shortage of Rough Carpentry Contractors Hits Record 90 Percent

Labor and subcontractor shortages became even more widespread in July of 2018 than they were a year earlier, according to single-family builders who responded to special questions on the survey for the NAHB/Well Fargo Housing Market Index. The July 2018 survey asked builders about shortages in 15 specific occupations that were either recommended by Home Builders Institute or other key… Read More ›

In Four Southern States, Nearly 90 Percent of New Homes Have Porches

Of the roughly 850,000 single-family homes started in 2017, 64.7 percent were built with porches, according to NAHB tabulation of data from the Survey of Construction (SOC).  The SOC is conducted on an ongoing, monthly basis by the U.S. Census Bureau, partially supported with funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Among other things, the SOC data show that, over the… Read More ›

Lot Size Remains Record Low

The median lot size of a new single-family detached home sold in 2017 stands at 8,560 square feet, or just under one-fifth of an acre. This is just 2 square feet smaller but statistically not different from the 2016 median. In 2015, the median lot size fell under 8,600 square feet for the first time since Census Bureau’s Survey of… Read More ›

Additional Growth for Residential Construction Loans

The volume of residential construction loans increased by 1.7% during the second quarter of 2018, marking 21 consecutive quarters of growth. Furthermore, recent stabilization of year-over-year growth rates is an indicator of continued, modest growth for single-family construction. Tight availability of acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) loans has been a limiting factor for home building growth, but easing credit conditions and a growing loan base have helped expand residential construction… Read More ›

Credit Conditions for AD&C Loans Close to Stable

In the second quarter of 2018, credit conditions for land acquisition, development, and single-family construction loans were close to stable, according to NAHB’s AD&C Financing Survey. The overall net tightening index constructed from the survey was -5.0. The index is constructed so that negative numbers indicate credit easing, positive numbers indicate tightening, and zero indicates perfectly stable conditions. The second… Read More ›