Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Housing Affordability Remains Favorable Even as it Hits an Eight-Year Low

Shortages of buildable lots and skilled labor, along with excessive regulations, rising mortgage interest rates and ongoing home price appreciation pushed housing affordability in the fourth quarter of 2016 to its lowest point since the third quarter of 2008, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).  In all, 59.9 percent of new and existing… Read More ›

Single-Family Housing Starts Post Slight Gain

Total housing starts recorded a small decline in January, as multifamily starts fell back, albeit from an upwardly revised number in December. Total starts were down 2.6%, falling to a 1.246 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. However, single-family starts posted a small monthly increase in January, rising 1.9% to an 823,000 annual rate As measured on a three-month moving average, the current changes… Read More ›

Builder Confidence Continues to Settle Back to Sustainable Levels in February

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes declined two points in February to a level of 65 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The HMI had risen sharply in December 2016 (up to 69) as the election results raised hopes among builders that a new Congress and administration will help create a better business… Read More ›

Non-mortgage Consumer Credit Grows at a Slower Pace

The total amount of consumer credit outstanding rose in 2016 as both revolving credit and non-revolving credit rose. The growth in consumer credit is being fueled by non-revolving loans, particularly student loans at the federal government and auto loans held by credit unions. According to the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Credit release, the total outstanding amount of consumer credit climbed… Read More ›

Residential Construction Employment Growing

The count of unfilled jobs in the overall construction sector declined recently, as residential construction employment accelerated in the last three months. 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) came in at 148,000 in December. The cycle high was 225,000 set in July. The open position rate (job openings… Read More ›

Standards on CRE Loans Tighten as Demand Weakens

The most recent iteration of the Federal Reserve Board’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey (SLOS), which covers the fourth quarter of 2016, reports tightening of standards on multifamily residential and construction/land development loans. At the same time, demand, on net, also weakened. Previous analysis documented the tightening of credit standards, a measure of loan supply, on commercial real estate (CRE)… Read More ›

Nation Moves Closer to Recovery

For the country as a whole, the NAHB/First American Leadings Markets Index (LMI), released today, rose to .99 in the fourth quarter of 2016, .01 point higher than its level in the third quarter of 2016, .98, and .05 point higher than its level from one year ago, .94. The LMI is now .21 point above its low of .78… Read More ›

Mortgage Rates Rising

Information released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, (FHFA) indicates that mortgage rates on purchases of newly built homes continued to increase in December 2016. After rising by 5 bps in November, contract mortgage rates increased by an additional 19 basis points in December. As of the end of 2016, the contract rate sits at 3.78 percent. The December rate… Read More ›

2016 New Home Sales Up 12% Despite Weak December

Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 10% on a monthly basis in December to a weak 536,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to estimates from the Census Bureau and HUD. This was a surprisingly low reading for the series. My expectation is that it will be revised higher in the next report. While higher interest rates may have caused a reduction in… Read More ›