Tag Archive for ‘economics’

New Home Sales Rise But With Underlying Variation

According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales of new homes rose by 4.0 percent over the month of March to reach a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 694,000. Year-to-date, covering the first quarter of 2018, the total number of new homes sold is 10.3 percent ahead of its pace over the first… Read More ›

Existing Sales Rise 1.1 Percent in March

Existing-home sales increased 1.1% in March, but remain down 1.2% from a year ago. The first-time buyer share of 30% is also down from 32% a year ago. The National Association of Realtors reported that 50% of homes sold last month were on the market less than a month. The March inventory increased 5.7%, but remains 7.2% below the level… Read More ›

Small Gain for Housing Starts in March

Total housing starts increased slightly in March, led by multifamily construction strength. Starts increased 1.9% to a 1.32 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. However, the pace of single-family starts declined in March, falling 3.7% to an 867,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate, due to lingering weather effects in some parts… Read More ›

Builder Confidence Slips One Point, Remains in Solid Territory

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes edged down one point to a level of 69 in April on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) but remains on firm ground. Strong demand for housing is keeping builders optimistic about future market conditions. However, builders are facing supply-side constraints, such as a lack of… Read More ›

Construction Job Openings Higher Year-Over-Year

The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector declined in February, but remains higher than a year ago. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs came in at 196,000 in February. The post-recession high count of open, unfilled construction jobs was 255,000 in July of… Read More ›

New Home Building Employment Estimates by Congressional District

The new NAHB estimates show that the average congressional district has more than 8,800 residents working in residential construction but that number is often significantly higher. In Montana’s single Congressional district, close to 20,600 residents are in home building. The latest estimates of home building employment, including self-employed workers, by congressional district highlight the importance of home building to voting… Read More ›

Annual Inflation Accelerates on Monthly Decline

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that consumer inflation fell by 0.1 percent over the month of March 2018 following a 0.2 percent increase in February. This is first monthly decrease since May 2017. Energy prices fell by 3 percent over the month as gasoline prices were 4.9 percent lower than their level in February. In contrast, core CPI, which… Read More ›

Builders’ Use of Aerial Drones Takes Off

About two years ago, NAHB reported that 22 percent of single-family builders had used aerial drones (or unmanned aircraft systems, as the Department of Defense calls them) at least once in their construction businesses.  But the times they are a-changing.  When we revisited the issue in March of this year, we saw that the percentage of builders using drones had… Read More ›

Construction Self-Employment Rates Exceed 23%

According to the 2016 ACS, over 23% of construction workers are self-employed, while an economy-wide average does not reach 10% of the employed labor force. The high self-employment rates in construction reflect a common practice of builders and remodelers to maintain relatively small payrolls and rely on subcontractors for a large share of the construction work. During the housing downturn,… Read More ›