Tag Archive for ‘remodeling’

Strong First Quarter for Consumer Confidence

The University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment reached a ten-year peak of 95.5 in the first quarter of 2015. Although the Index of Consumer Sentiment Index decreased to 93.0 in March from 95.4 in February, it was up from 80.0 from March 2014. The harsh winter dampened the giddiness of falling gasoline prices from the start of the year…. Read More ›

Housing Share of GDP Holds Constant

With the release of the final estimates of fourth quarter GDP growth (2.2%), housing’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) was 15.25%, with home building and remodeling yielding 3.09 percentage points of that total. Housing-related activities contribute to GDP in two basic ways. The first is through residential fixed investment (RFI). RFI is effectively the measure of the home building and… Read More ›

Pending Sales Strong: First-Time Buyers Join In?

The Pending Home Sales Index increased 3.1% in February, and was up 12.0% from the same period a year ago. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), increased to 106.9 in February, up from a downwardly revised 103.7 in January. The PHSI increased year-over-year for the… Read More ›

Existing Sales Survive Winter

Existing home sales increased 1.2% in February, and the share of sales for first-time buyers registered its first gain since last November. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported February 2015 total existing home sales at a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.88 million units combined for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, up from 4.82 million units in January. February… Read More ›

Working at Home: Who Claims the Home Office Deduction?

With tax preparation season well underway, it is a good time to examine the use of the home office deduction. Often cited as a “red flag” for tax audits, the home office deduction is in fact a legitimate business deduction with particular importance for certain careers and small business owners. Moreover – from the housing economics perspective – IRS data… Read More ›

Veterans in the Construction Industry

Access to labor remains a persistent challenge for home builders and remodelers. Unfilled job openings in the construction sector has moved along an upward trend over the last two and half years. However, there is one group in particular that builders have turned to for workers: military veterans. According to 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey data and NAHB analysis, approximately 666,400… Read More ›

Producer Prices in February – Falling Prices, Except for Gypsum

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Producer Price Indexes (PPI) for February. Inflation in prices received by producers (prior to sales to consumers) declined 0.5% in February. The decline was dominated by a decline in prices for services and within services prices for trade, transportation and warehousing. Prices for goods also declined led by falling food prices. Energy… Read More ›

Average Monthly Electrical Bill by State – Updated Data

According to latest release from the U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average residential monthly electric bill was $110.21 in 2013. The most expensive utility bill for homeowners is the electric bill, accounting for roughly 9% of expenditure on housing according to NAHB tabulations of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on consumer expenditures. The average… Read More ›

Construction Labor Market Turnover at the Start of 2015

The number of open, unfilled construction sector positions decreased slightly in January. Overall, the construction labor market was characterized by higher rates of turnover at the start of the year, with strengthening hiring and increased levels of separations. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs for January (on a seasonally adjusted basis)… Read More ›

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