Tag Archive for ‘home building’

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 ›

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 ›