Tag Archive for ‘housing’

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 ›

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 ›