Tag Archive for ‘economics’

FHFA Shows Home Price Improvement Broadly Distributed Geographically

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released monthly home price indexes for the US and the 9 Census divisions for December, and quarterly home price indexes for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and metropolitan statistical areas for the fourth quarter of 2011. The extensive geographic coverage provided by FHFA is a huge improvement over other house price indicators,… Read More ›

Existing Sales Up, Inventory Down

Existing home sales increased 4.3 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted level of 4.57 million units. That level is 0.7 percent above the January 2011 seasonally adjusted annual rate, and is the third increase over the past four months. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that the seasonally adjusted sales of existing homes (comprised of completed transactions of… Read More ›

A Look Inside Builders’ Books

If you have ever wondered how much single-family builders are earning these days or how much profit is considered “average” in the industry, then a recently published NAHB study based on a national survey of single-family builders titled “The Cost of Doing Business Study: 2012 Edition” will help provide answers. On average, single-family builders in fiscal year 2010 made $7.1… Read More ›

CPI Rises as Core Index and Energy Prices Climb Higher; Real Rents Inch Lower to kick off 2012

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2% on a month-to-month basis during January 2012. Price levels rose across a fairly broad base of categories, as the core, energy and food indexes all registered increases compared to December. If not for the fact that natural gas prices continue to slump… Read More ›

Producer Prices in January – Watch Gypsum

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Producer Price Indexes (PPI) for January on Thursday. The index for finished goods rose 0.1 percent in January from December, balancing a 0.4 percent increase in the core index and declines in the food (-0.3 percent) and energy (-0.5 percent) indexes, keeping the overall index in line with its relatively flat trajectory… Read More ›

HOI Indicates Affordability at All-Time High

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) rose to 75.9 during the fourth quarter of 2011,  the highest number recorded in the 20-year history of the index.  The HOI is the percentage of homes sold during the quarter affordable to a median-income family, based on standard underwriting criteria.  An HOI of 75.9 means that 75.9 percent… Read More ›

Mortgage Bankers: Delinquencies and Foreclosures Continue to Fall, but a Few Problems Persist

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey showed the delinquency rate on first-lien residential mortgages dropped 41 basis points to 7.58% during the fourth quarter of 2011 (down from 7.99%). While the foreclosure inventory remained elevated from a historical perspective to close out the calendar year, it still registered a modest decline between the third and fourth quarters of 2011,… Read More ›

Multifamily Starts Indicate Sustained Recovery

The Census Bureau’s preliminary estimate for starts in buildings with five or more units in January came in at 175,000 (at a seasonally adjusted annual rate)—up 14 percent from the revised rate for December.  About half of January’s increase was due to a 7 percent downward revision to the starts rate for December.              … Read More ›

Builder Sentiment Up Again

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) increased four points in February to 29, the highest level since April 2007. The increase marks the fifth consecutive month of an increase for a total of 15 points since recording a 14 in September 2011. All three components also recorded levels not seen since early 2007. The current and future sales components… Read More ›

Newly Constructed Home Trends in 2011

Single-family homes started in 2011* were a bit different than the ones builders started in 2010.  Unpublished Census Bureau data show that, on average, homes started in 2011 were bigger than those started in 2010.  Homes were also more likely to have more features and amenities.  These developments must be analyzed with caution, however, keeping in mind that total single-family… Read More ›