Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Broad Declines for Housing Starts in April

As indicated by the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), housing starts retreated in April due to the economic consequences of government-imposed lockdowns associated with virus mitigation. Single-family starts were 25% lower in April, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 650,000. Since the peak rate in February, the pace of single-family construction has declined 37%. The April pace was… Read More ›

Builder Confidence Posts Solid Gain After Historic Drop

In a signal that the housing market is showing signs of stabilizing and gradually moving forward in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased seven points to 37 in May, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The rise in builder sentiment follows the… Read More ›

Construction Layoffs in March

Backward-looking data illustrate the degree of damage done by the sudden stop of the U.S. economy due to the public health response associated with the coronavirus. For example, there were 4,300 net job losses in residential construction in March, followed by a staggering 415,000 losses in home building and remodeling in April. The leading edge of this job loss was… Read More ›

Credit for Builders Tightens, Virus Blamed

For the first time since 2012, builders and developers reported tighter credit conditions on loans for land acquisition, development and single-family construction (AD&C) in NAHB’s AD&C financing survey for the first quarter of 2020.  The net tightening index derived from the NAHB survey jumped to 22.7, about 40 points higher than the -22.3 reported in the fourth quarter of 2019. … Read More ›

Gain for Housing Share of GDP During 1Q20

During the first quarter. GDP growth posted its worst performance since the Great Recession, recording a -4.8% growth rate. However, housing’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) increased slightly to 14.9%. The home building and remodeling component – residential fixed investment – also increased slightly, rising to 3.3%. As the economy begins a recovery later in 2020, we expect housing… Read More ›

GDP Declines for First Time Since 2014

The U.S. economy declined in the first quarter of 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumer spending, gross private domestic investment, exports and imports all decreased. According to the “advance” estimate  released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 4.8% in the first quarter of 2020,… Read More ›

New Home Sales Decline in March amidst Virus Concerns

Despite a strong start for 2020, new home sales weakened significantly in March due to challenges associated with COVID-19. Contracts for new, single-family home sales declined in March by 15.4% to a 627,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate according to estimates from the joint release of HUD and the Census Bureau. NAHB expects further declines in a challenging April, which has… Read More ›

Virus Affecting Homeowners’ Willingness to Remodel

A recent NAHB survey shows the negative effect the coronavirus pandemic is having on the decision to remodel.  Over 90 percent of remodelers in the survey reported a slowdown in both the rate at which inquiries are coming in, and in the general willingness of homeowners to remodel at this time. This information was collected via a question added to… Read More ›

Some Cities Keep Construction Going via Virtual Inspections

By now, many cities have classified residential construction as an essential business: an activity allowed to continue during the coronavirus-induced shutdown.  This in itself may not be sufficient to keep construction going, however, and some jurisdictions have also started to allow virtual inspections as an attempted remedy. Data on these trends were collected recently through questions on the survey for… Read More ›

Widespread Job Losses Across the Country in March

Year-over-year (YoY), total nonfarm employment increased by 1.5 million jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis (SA), or 1.0% from March 2019 to March 2020. During this time, total nonfarm employment in the Western region increased by 1.2%. The South and the Northeast recorded gains at 1.0% and 0.2% respectively, during this time. Midwest recorded a decline of 0.2% for this… Read More ›