Tag Archive for ‘home building’

Where are Sale and Contract Prices per Square Foot Highest?

Looking at single-family homes started in 2013, new NAHB research quantifies regional differences in sale and contract prices per square foot. The prices excluding lot values range from $145 per square foot for contractor-built homes in the Pacific division to $73 per square foot for speculatively-built homes in the West South Central division. The NAHB analysis is based on the… Read More ›

In 6 Months, Mortgage Standards Cost Builders 18,000 Sales

In an August survey asking single-family builders to describe mortgage lending standards in the areas where they build, well over half indicated that standards were tight or very tight.  Only 11 percent indicated that lending standards were somewhat easy and none described them as very easy. The survey took the form of special questions appended to the monthly instrument used… Read More ›

July Hiring Reduces August Job Openings

The number of open, unfilled construction sector positions declined in August, after a significant increase in hiring in July. Nonetheless, the current estimate of open construction jobs is higher than the total recorded a year ago. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), the number of open construction sector jobs for August  (on a seasonally adjusted basis) stood at 115,000, down… Read More ›

Energy-Efficient Appliances

A key driver of the amount of energy a home uses is the energy-efficiency of the appliances installed in the home. And newly built homes are more likely to contain Energy Star rated appliances. The amount of energy a home uses is determined by multiple factors, including the quality/efficiency of the structure and the kinds and usage of the appliances… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: New Home Sales Jump in August

New home sales rebounded in August, increasing 18% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, according to estimates from the Census Bureau and HUD. These gains were atop upward revisions for the July pace. The August rate is 33% higher than August 2013 and is a solid indication of the ongoing recovery in the single-family market. The inventory of… Read More ›

House Prices Record Annual Gains

Recently released data by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Case-Shiller indicates that its measure of house prices, the House Price Index – National, rose by 5.6% on a year-over-year not seasonally adjusted basis. This is the 27th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in the house price index. Over this period of more than two years, house prices have risen by… Read More ›

It’s All About Jobs

The Conference Board reported that the Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased the previous four months, declined in September, primarily because consumers judged current and future employment conditions less favorably. The Consumer Confidence Index declined to 86.0 in September from 93.4 in August. The share of consumers describing the current job climate as “plentiful” decreased to 15.1% in September from… Read More ›

Interest Rates Stay Flat on Loans for New Homes

Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported that interest rates on home mortgages remained essentially the same in August. The same was true for the subset of mortgages used to purchase new homes. On conventional mortgages for new homes, the changes in August were both very small and offsetting. While the average contract interest rate increased by a single… Read More ›

Investors Pause Pending

Pending home sales decreased 1.0% in August, reflecting the gradual withdrawal of investors as the supply of distressed properties at bargain prices continues to decline. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), decreased to 104.7 in August from 105.8 in July. The August reading was down… Read More ›

Happy Days

September Consumer Sentiment reached a 14-month high, driven by favorable prospects for the US economy and personal income expectations. Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan reported that consumer sentiment reached 84.6 in September, up from 82.5 at the end of August. The September index reading was the second highest in the past seven years, and boosts prospects for new home construction. Rising… Read More ›