Author Archives

  • Where are the Nation’s Second Homes?

    Second home ownership is often discussed in housing policy debates, but in general there is a poor understanding of what is considered a second home and where these homes are located. This is particularly true in tax policy contexts because the most common stereotype of a “second” home – an expensive beach house – is often a rental property that is not eligible for the mortgage… Read More ›

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  • NAHB 55+ Market Survey Data Indicate Growing Optimism for Rental Sector

    NAHB members in the 55+ housing market are significantly more optimistic about production and demand for multifamily rental units than they are for sales of single-family homes or multifamily condos, according to results of NAHB’s latest 55+ Housing Market Index (55+ HMI) survey. All of the components measuring production and demand for 55+ multifamily rental units increased significantly quarter over… Read More ›


  • Housing Affordability Near Record Levels According to NAHB/Wells Fargo Index

    Nationwide housing affordability is hovering near record levels, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) data released this week. The HOI indicated that 72.6 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the second quarter of the year were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,200. The affordability measure dipped slightly from the… Read More ›


  • Employment Data Indicate a Slowing Construction Labor Market

    Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the June release of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) are consistent with the economic weakness currently reflected in significant stock market declines. Nonetheless, we continue to forecast that 2011 will be a year of a small net expansion of construction sector employment. However, job openings for construction fell in June, perhaps suggesting some slowing of… Read More ›


  • FOMC Announces Long-Term Commitment to Low Rates: Impact on Housing

    Coming soon after the Congressional effort to lift the debt ceiling, the S&P downgrade of the credit rating of the Federal government, and elevated volatility for stock market prices, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) today reported a long-term commitment to low interest rates during its August 2011 meeting. The FOMC stated: To promote the ongoing economic recovery and to help ensure… Read More ›


  • New NAHB Report on Effective Property Tax Rates

    Building on previous research examining effective property tax burdens on owner-occupied homes by state and metropolitan areas, NAHB economist Natalia Siniavskaia has published a new paper reporting effective property tax rates by county and census tracts. The research should be useful for prospective homebuyers and businesses in the housing industry interested in comparing effective property tax payments across narrowly defined geographic… Read More ›


  • Remodeling Slows in the Second Quarter

    The National Association of Home Builders Remodeling Market Index (RMI) dipped to 43.9 in the second quarter of 2011 from the 46.5 posted in the first quarter of the year.  Remodeling activity slowed for the same reasons new construction stagnated in recent months; namely a sluggish economy, lack of consumer confidence, and a strict lending environment. And as we noted last quarter, the… Read More ›


  • The Housing Market and the Debt Ceiling Debate

    As negotiations continue on whether and how to raise the debt ceiling, it is important to keep in mind housing market impacts that could occur due to the some of the possible outcomes being discussed in Washington. Under the present law debt ceiling, the federal government may not borrow more than $14.3 trillion. The effect of this limit is that on August 2nd the federal government will… Read More ›


  • The Rental Housing Stock

    Given the increasing focus with respect to growing demand for rental properties, we thought we would present the breakdown of the rental housing stock by structure type. Using the 2009 American Housing Survey, the data show that 30% of all housing units in the United States are renter-occupied or vacant for-rent.   A surprisingly large share of this rental housing stock consists of single-family detached homes: 27%. When adding townhouses… Read More ›

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  • Construction Sector Job Openings Steady During Economy’s Soft Patch

    Job data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (JOLTS data) confirm that the U.S economy hit a soft patch during the summer of 2011, particularly with respect to the labor market. Nonetheless, the battered but recovering construction sector job market seems unaffected thus far. For the economy as a whole, layoffs increased by more than 10% from May to June. In fact, on… Read More ›