Tag Archive for ‘housing’

Housing Starts Fall in February

Total housing starts posted a 8.7 percent decrease in February (1.162 million units) compared to a upwardly revised January estimate of 1.273 million units according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. Relative to February 2018, total starts are 9.9 percent below the annual pace of 1.29 million units. The rate of single-family starts posted a… Read More ›

Builders’ Profit Margins Continue to (Slowly) Increase

Typically, one of the best-kept secrets in a private company is the share of total revenue that stays in the company after paying all operating costs and expenses. For a number of personal, business, or strategic reasons, that number – also known as net profit margin – tends to remain the purview of owner(s) and accountants.  Despite these company-specific realities,… Read More ›

Fed Adopts A More Dovish Stance

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Fed’s monetary policymaking body, held the federal funds rate steady at a top rate of 2.5% at the conclusion of its March meeting. This was no surprise for financial markets, as this approach had been telegraphed by the Fed in January. However, the Fed communicated two other elements that indicate that the central… Read More ›

Builder Confidence Holds Steady in March

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes held steady at 62 in March, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Builders report the market is stabilizing following the slowdown at the end of 2018, and they anticipate a solid spring home buying season. In a healthy sign for the housing market,… Read More ›

Construction Job Openings Hold Steady In January

After significant data revisions for 2018, new data from the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) indicate that construction job openings remained near a cycle high as of January, an indication that the skilled labor shortage continues into 2019. The open position rate (job openings as a percentage of total employment plus current job openings) held steady at 3.9%. The… Read More ›

New Home Sales Distribution Highlights Affordability Opportunity

Upward revisions to December and November data resulted in a 6.9% decline for new single-family homes sales in January, according to data from the joint release of HUD and the Census Bureau. The seasonally adjusted annualized January pace of 607,000 was 4.1% lower than January of 2018; however, combined with lower mortgage interest rates, the first monthly rate for 2019 establishes a solid… Read More ›

Built-for-Rent Construction Dominates Apartment Development

An elevated rental share of multifamily construction is holding typical apartment size below levels seen during the pre-Great Recession period. As multifamily developers build more for-sale housing units in the years ahead, the average size of multifamily homes is likely to rise. According to fourth quarter 2018 data, the average per unit square footage of multifamily housing construction starts was 1,136, off from the… Read More ›

Flat Conditions for Custom Home Building

NAHB’s analysis of Census Data from the Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design survey indicates custom home building was effectively flat over the course of 2018. There were 36,000 total custom starts for the fourth quarter of 2018. This was down compared to the final quarter of 2017 (40,000). Over the course of 2018, custom housing starts totaled 170,000. This… Read More ›

New Single-Family Home Size Continues Decline

Continuing a multiyear trend, new single-family home size decreased during the final quarter of 2018. According to fourth quarter 2018 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area ticked down to 2,316 square feet. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes increased to 2,567 square feet. On a less volatile one-year moving average,… Read More ›

Despite Slow Quarter, Townhouse Construction Expanded in 2018

According to NAHB analysis of the most recent Census data of Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design, townhouse construction posted outperformed other building sectors over the course of 2018. However, like other submarkets, townhouse construction softened during the fourth quarter. Nonetheless, townhouse construction is set for further expansion given the demographics of renters entering the for-sale market, as well as… Read More ›