Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Concentration of Immigrant Workers across Construction Occupations

As the housing industry gains momentum and the demand for workers increases, labor shortages top the list of the crucial impediments to robust housing recovery. As native-born workers are slow to return to the construction industry, the role and share of foreign-born workers has been rising since the housing recovery got underway. Immigrant workers now account for close to one… Read More ›

Existing Sales Decline 3.6% in December

Existing-home sales decreased 3.6% in December, but the first-time buyer share rebounded to 32% from 29% last month. The National Association of Realtors reported that existing sales for all of 2017 increased 1.1% from the previous year, and was the best year for sales in 11 years. Some 44% of homes sold last month were on the market less than… Read More ›

California, Texas, and DC Most Reliant on Immigrant Construction Workers

Earlier this month, we published a post highlighting the rising share of immigrant workers in construction. Immigrant workers now account for close to one in four workers, the highest share recorded by the American Community Survey (ACS). In some states, reliance on foreign-born labor is even more pronounced with immigrants comprising more than 40% of the construction labor force. Traditionally,… Read More ›

One-Person Construction Trade Firms

From the trough of the housing downturn in 2010 through 2015, the number of homes under construction increased by 131 percent and the number of employees working in construction trade businesses increased by 18 percent.  Over that span, how much would you guess the number of one-person construction trade firms increased?  The answer, believe it or not, is not at all. … Read More ›

Permits Grow Across Most States, Hurricane Effect Fading

Over the eleven months ending in November 2017, the total number of single-family permits issued nationwide reached 761,229. This is 10.2% ahead of its level over the first eleven months of 2016, 690,836. The results from the SOC are similar, single-family permits over the first eleven months of 2017, 761,100 are 10.3% ahead of their level over the same period… Read More ›

Single-Family Starts Pull Back in December

Total housing starts declined in December after strong readings for prior months due to weather-related delay effects in the fall. Total starts decreased 8% to a 1.19 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. Nonetheless, over the course of 2017 single-family starts posted a strong year, increasing 8.5% compared to 2016 to… Read More ›

Mortgages Rates Rise in 2017 But Remain Low

Information provided by the Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) indicates that mortgage rates on purchases of newly built homes rose 7 basis points in November to 4.00 percent. At this level, rates remain below the 4.18 cycle peak level recorded in February. Meanwhile, a more commonly used rate reported by Freddie Mac indicates that mortgage rates rose by 2 basis… Read More ›

Builder Confidence Remains Strong as New Year Starts

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes dropped two points to a level of 72 in January on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) after reaching an 18-year high in December 2017. Builders confidence remained strong given changes to the tax code will promote the small business sector and boost broader economic growth. Nonetheless, home… Read More ›

Core Inflation Remains Steady

Consumer prices, measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Consumer Price Index – Urban Consumer (CPI), rose by 2.1 percent on an unadjusted basis over the 12 months of 2017, and has broadly accelerated from the 1.63 percent reading in June 2017. Energy prices contributed to the increase in the headline measure of consumer inflation, climbing 6.9 percent over… Read More ›