Author Archives

  • Starts Up, Permits Down, Plateau Ahead

    The April increase in housing starts, particularly single family starts, is exactly what I expected given the approaching end of the home buyer tax credits and the beginning of a housing market that moves with underlying economic factors.  Home builders were probably able to start a few modest homes and still expect to complete them in time to deliver before… Read More ›

  • Housing Soon to Join Party

    Residential construction spending and construction employment have yet to show the same rebound as overall economic growth and employment.  However, the emerging economic recovery coupled with a housing response will soon invite housing to the party. First quarter construction spending was up a very small 0.2% but residential spending was down 11% after two successive positive quarters.  The decline was… Read More ›

  • Construction Spending Changes

    Construction spending fell by almost $12 billion from Jan to Feb, which was less than the three previous month’s declines. The drop was concentrated in three areas, one predictable, one curious and probably weather related and one that has not been a big factor in change impact up to now, but may be in the future.  Private commercial construction was… Read More ›

  • House Price Status Quo

    The January Case-Shiller home price index released today reaffirms the expectations that house prices have reached their bottom in most of the country but that a significant rebound is not in the cards.  Monthly seasonally adjusted prices were up for the eighth straight month and annual changes continue to be less negative.  The FHFA index that was released last week… Read More ›

  • Not So Good New Home Sales

    February new home sales reached another new low after punching through that barrier in January.  Sales were down 2.2% overall and down significantly in the Northeast (-20%) and the Midwest (-18%), but up significantly in the West (21%).  The South region, the largest and therefore affecting the national numbers the most, was the only region to score a new all… Read More ›

  • Mixed Message in Existing Home Sales

    Existing home sales were reported down a relatively small about in weather-ravaged February to an annual level just over 5 million.  However, there were some interesting and somewhat surprising changes in the components of that total.   For one, the regional breakout for single family  homes was in reverse of what the extraordinary weather patterns would have predicted.  Sales were up… Read More ›