Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Households Age 55+: Worth $62 Trillion

Households age 55 or older earn about half of all household income in the U.S., but hold over two-thirds of the residential equity and other household wealth, according to the most recent (2016) Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). The SCF is conducted every three years by the Federal Reserve and serves as one of the few federal sources of information… Read More ›

Fed Survey Confirms Broader Economic Improvement, But Concerns Exist

Information provided by the Federal Reserve Board in its January 2018 release of the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey (SLOOS) indicates that lending standards on commercial and industrial (C&I) loans to large and medium-sized firms continue to ease on net. The continued easing in standards on C&I loans increase the stock of loans, which in turns fuels job creation. However,… Read More ›

Construction Job Openings Fall in December

The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector declined in December. The fall in open jobs followed several months of strong of net job gains for the residential construction sector. Over the course of November and December, for example, home builders and remodelers added 32,000 jobs on a net basis. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS)… Read More ›

LMI Indicates Continued Improvement Across The Country

According to the NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), 82%, 277 metropolitan statistical areas, recorded growth in their LMI Score over the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to a year ago. 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 337 local markets, metropolitan statistical areas… Read More ›

UK Mortgages – High Share for Interest-Only Debt

New data from the UK offers a reminder of how different housing finance systems are nation to nation. Almost one in five home owners in the UK has an interest-only mortgage, with three maturity peaks. In contrast, only 0.2% of 2017 US home purchase and refinance originations were interest-only as reported by Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, a property… Read More ›

Green Single-family Building Practices

In a sample of homes from 246 single-family builders, about one-fourth have enough green features to meet the minimum point requirement for certification under the National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS).  However, only about 11 percent of the homes actually have NGBS certifications, according to a recently released report from NAHB. The report is based on NAHB’s Green Practices Survey, which was conducted in several stages during 2017 and collected information on sustainable and… Read More ›

Interest Rates Rise

According to the Mortgage Interest Rate Survey produced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, contract rates on 30-Year fixed rate mortgages ticked up one basis point in December 2017 to 4.01 percent. Information provided by Freddie Mac, a more commonly used series, showed a similar trend over the month of December with its contract rate on the 30-Year fixed rate… Read More ›

Fed Stands Pat at Chair Yellen’s Final FOMC Meeting

In Janet Yellen’s final meeting as Chair, the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC or Committee) voted unanimously to maintain the federal funds rate, its short-term policy rate, at a range of 1.25 percent and 1.50 percent, a level it deems “accommodative”. According to estimates of financial markets expectations, this decision was widely expected. Calculations of the appropriate level for the… Read More ›

Pending Sales Rise in December

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHS), signed contracts for existing homes rose 0.5% nationwide over the month of December 2017. According to the NAR, the PHS, a leading indicator of housing activity, measures housing contract activity, and is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos, and co-ops. Because a… Read More ›

Economy Grows for 8th Consecutive Year

According to a release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the nation’s real gross domestic product (GDP) slowed to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. Despite the slowdown, GDP growth over all of 2017 accelerated to 2.3 percent, faster than the 1.5 percent rate of growth in 2016. The annual increase in… Read More ›