Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Rocky Mountain and the Far West Led GDP Growth in the Third Quarter of 2018

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 49 states and the District of Columbia, in the third quarter 2018 compared to the second quarter of 2018. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported the real GDP growth rates, measured on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis, ranged from 5.8% in Washington to 0.0% in West Virginia. Nationwide, real GDP growth slowed to… Read More ›

U.S. GDP Increases 2.6% in the Fourth Quarter

After a 3.4% rise in the third quarter, the nation’s economy grew at a slower pace in the fourth quarter of 2018. According to the “initial” estimate1 released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2018, slower than the previous two quarters. It… Read More ›

Housing Starts Drop in December

With the delayed December data now published, the pace of single-family starts declined for the fourth consecutive month as housing affordability concerns weighed on the home construction market at the end of 2018.  However, home building posted gains in 2018 relative to 2017. Total single-family and apartment construction starts were up 3.6% for the year, according to the joint data… Read More ›

Lower Interest Rates, Rising Consumer Confidence Boost Builder Sentiment

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose four points to 62 in February, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Ongoing reduction in mortgage rates in recent weeks coupled with continued strength in the job market are helping to fuel builder sentiment. In the aftermath of the fall slowdown, many… Read More ›

Interest Rates on Construction Loans Showed Rising Trend in 2018

Interest rates on loans for residential acquisition, development, and construction (AD&C) generally increased throughout 2018, according to results from NAHB’s fourth quarter AD&C survey.  For the fourth quarter, builders and developers responding to the survey reported a median interest rate that varied from 5.75% on loans for pre-sold single-family construction, to 5.88% on loans for land development, to 6.00% on loans… Read More ›

What Do Vacancy Rates Tell Us about the Shortage of Housing?

Vacancy rates are one of the key statistics NAHB Economics tracks to judge the health and direction of the housing market. The currently low homeowner and rental vacancy rates are typically interpreted as a sign of tight housing markets, with lower vacancy rates signaling a greater housing shortage. NAHB’s analysis of the latest 2017 ACS vacancy data highlights the metropolitan… Read More ›

Energy Prices Continue to Fall

The CPI was unchanged in January. The decrease in energy prices in January offset increases in the “core” CPI and the food index. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), was unchanged in January on a seasonally adjusted basis. The CPI remained unchanged for the third consecutive month. Over the past twelve months, on… Read More ›

Construction Job Openings Jump in December

Despite the housing-focused slowdown during the second half of 2018, the count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector surged in December. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs increased to a cycle high of 382,000 in December. This is significantly higher than the December 2017 estimate of… Read More ›

Unexpected Gain for New Home Sales in November

Data for November indicated a surprise gain for the seasonally adjusted annual rate of new single-family home sales. The data was delayed due to the partial government shutdown. Survey data, including builder confidence, suggest December estimates, when published, will show market weakness however. Contracts for new, single-family home sales increased almost 17% to a 657,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate according to… Read More ›

Fed Pursues Patience

As expected, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy body, the Federal Open Market Committee, unanimously agreed to hold steady the federal funds top rate at 2.5%. The Fed’s January statement was consistent with recent policymakers’ comments suggesting a more flexible stance toward monetary policy at the end of last year and the start of 2019. In particular, the statement indicated that… Read More ›