Author Archives

  • Characteristics of New and First-Time Home Buyers

    NAHB economist Heather Taylor has published a new Special Study on the characteristics of new and first-time home buyers. Using 2009 Census data  from the American Housing Survey, Taylor finds that 41% of home buyers between 2007 and 2009 were first-time buyers (totalling 8.4 million households).  This share was up from 35% from the 2005 to 2007 period, in part due… Read More ›

  • Fed Data Points to Stabilizing Housing Wealth

    Improving household net worth is key to achieving sustained economic growth.  And homeowner equity is an important component of total household net worth.  As we’ve noted in an earlier post, sustained GDP growth will be difficult to achieve without a reduction in the personal savings rate.  The savings rate will remain elevated as long as households believe they have excessive debt and… Read More ›

  • Fed Beige Book Reports Slowing Growth

    The Federal Reserve’s September Beige Book, which surveys national economic conditions, reports that for the mid-July through August period, economic growth slowed compared to earlier in 2010.  The survey found that consumer spending increased, but that consumers on the whole remained cautious.  Many sectors experienced growth but slower growth than was realized earlier in the year.  These sectors included manufacturing, professional… Read More ›

  • Household Savings and Economic Growth

    As the economy continues to seek sustainable growth, or at least growth strong enough to produce significant employment growth, one explanation for the weak growth of 2010 is a persistent, elevated household savings rate. Because of increased debt levels prior to the Great Recession and declines in asset values like stocks and housing during the recession, households have had to increase savings… Read More ›

  • Economist Karl Case on Homeownership

    Karl Case, a co-creator of the Case-Shiller home price index, writes in today’s New York Times on the state of homeownership: Depressing, yes — but the end of a dream? Not exactly. I have never quite understood what the American dream really means when it comes to housing. For some people, it means having a solid and fairly safe long-term… Read More ›

  • Homebuyer Tax Credit Totals

    The Government Accountability Office has released a report tallying the number of homebuyers benefitting from the homebuyer tax credit. The numbers are still incomplete as the IRS continues to process submitted claims.  Further, some homebuyers will not claim the credit until the end of the 2010 tax season in April of 2011. Nonetheless, the current totals are as follows: 1… Read More ›

  • GSE Financial Report Highlights

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks, has published its first Conservators’ Report on the Enterprises’ Financial Condition. Future reports will be issued on a quarterly basis. Among the findings of the report: At the end of 2007, Fannie and Freddie held $71 billion in capital From the… Read More ›

  • Mortgage Bankers Association Report Offers Mixed News

    The Mortgage Bankers Association released National Delinquency Survey statistics for the second quarter of 2010.  The delinquency rate – loans that are not in foreclosure with at least one payment late – fell from a seasonally-adjusted rate of 10.06% in the first quarter of 2010 to 9.85% in the second quarter. The 9.85% rate represents an increase of 61 basis… Read More ›

  • CBO Budget Update

    As the debate concerning the future of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts heats up, the Congressional Budget Office has released an updated Budget and Economic Outlook.  This report provides projections of federal revenues and spending for the next 10 years. Under present law, on January 1, 2011 the top marginal income tax rate, paid by individuals and small businesses, increases from… Read More ›