Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Builders Starting to Report Shortages of Framing Lumber

For several years now, the recovery in single-family home building has been hampered by shortages of labor and lots.  Availability of building materials, meanwhile, has not been much of an issue.  But that may be starting to change. In answer to questions on the May 2017 survey for the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, 21% of single-family builders reported a shortage… Read More ›

Mortgage Rates Fall Again

Information provided by the Federal Housing Financing Agency’s Mortgage Interest Rate Survey indicates that mortgage rates on purchases of newly constructed homes fell over the month of May to 4.00 percent, from 4.02 percent in April. Since rising by 64 basis points between October 2016 and February 2017, rates have now slipped 18 basis points over 3 consecutive months. A… Read More ›

Pending Sales Slide for Third Consecutive Month

The Pending Home Sales Index decreased for the third month in a row, and annually for the second year in a row. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), decreased to 108.5 in May, down 0.8% from a downwardly revised 109.4 in April, and down 1.7%… Read More ›

Community Banks Account for Nearly Half of Residential Construction Loans

Residential construction loans held on FDIC-insured banks’ balance sheets reached $70.7 billion in the first quarter of 2017 with community banks accounting for approximately 49 percent of these loans. The current share of residential construction loans held by community banks is higher than community banks’ share of other types of loans, with the exception of farm-related loans. However, in recent… Read More ›

May Gains for New Home Sales

Contracts for new home sales expanded by 2.9% in May to a 610,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to estimates from the joint data release of HUD and the Census Bureau. The report also noted a strong upward revision for the April rate of sales, increasing from a 569,000 annual pace to 593,000. The growth in sales continues along a positive trend for the… Read More ›

May Buyers Rush Past Market Challenges

Existing home sales increased 1.1% in May, and 55% of homes sold last month were on the market less than a month as buyers overcame low inventory and higher prices. Although May inventory increased 2.1%, it remains 8.4% lower than a year ago and fell year-over-year for the 24th consecutive month. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that at… Read More ›

Housing Starts Decline in May

Total housing starts declined in May after a few, strong early months to begin 2017. Total starts were down 5.5%, falling to a 1.092 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. Declines were recorded for both single-family and multifamily development. Single-family starts fell back, declining to a 794,000 annual rate. The February… Read More ›

Builder Confidence Remains Solid in June

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes weakened slightly in June, down two points to a level of 67 from a downwardly revised May reading of 69 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Builder confidence levels have remained consistently sound this year, reflecting the ongoing gradual recovery of the housing market. As… Read More ›