Tag Archive for ‘economics’

What First-Time Home Buyers Really Want

Among first-time home buyers, a laundry room ranked as the most popular of the more than 200 home and community features listed in the recent NAHB study, What Home Buyers Really Want, 2021 Edition.  The study is based on a nationwide survey of 3,247 recent and prospective home buyers, including 541 who bought, or were about to buy, their first… Read More ›

Solid Reading for Housing Starts in February

Single-family starts posted a small increase in February, as lack of resale inventory continues to support housing demand despite higher interest rates. The availability of materials, lumber, labor and lots remain key headwinds, with access to labor in particular likely to become more challenging in 2022. Overall housing starts increased 6.8% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of… Read More ›

Monetary Policy Tightening Underway

The first of many expected Federal Reserve hikes of the short-term federal funds rate was announced today. Combined with future balance sheet runoff, these monetary policy moves will lead to higher mortgage rates in 2022 and 2023 as the Fed attempts to curb elevated inflation. As widely expected by forecasters and markets, the Fed raised the federal funds rate by… Read More ›

Diminished Future Sales Expectations, Rising Costs Lower Builder Confidence

Ongoing lumber and building material supply-side constraints and rising construction costs and expectations of higher interest rates continue to negatively affect builder sentiment even as buyer demand remains relatively solid. Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes moved two points lower to 79 in March from a downwardly revised reading in February, according to the National Association… Read More ›

Increasing Open Jobs in Construction

The construction labor market remains tight, as the industry sees a rising number of job openings year-over-year. The count of open construction jobs increased for the month to 380,000 unfilled positions in January. The highest measure in the history of the data series (going back to late 2000) was 416,000 in April 2019. The housing market remains underbuilt and requires… Read More ›

Gains for Residential Construction Loans

Residential construction loan volume reached a post-Great Recession high during the fourth quarter of 2021, as home building activity posted gains for the year. The volume of 1-4 unit residential construction loans made by FDIC-insured institutions increased 1% during the fourth quarter. The volume of loans increased by $977 million on a quarterly basis. This loan volume expansion placed the… Read More ›

2- to 4-Unit Production Disappoints in 2021

The missing middle construction sector includes development of medium-density housing, including townhouses, duplexes and other small multifamily properties. While townhouse construction has trended higher in recent quarters, the multifamily segment of the missing middle (apartments in 2 to 4 unit properties) has disappointed. For 2021, there were only 12,000 starts of such residences. This is flat from from 2020, during a period… Read More ›

New Home Sales Slip in January

New single-family home sales posted a small decline in January as housing demand was affected by a jump in mortgage rates. The January pace of sales was nonetheless solid due to a lack of resale inventory and ongoing need for new construction. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau estimated sales of newly built,… Read More ›

Multifamily Unit Size Trends Lower

According to NAHB analysis of quarterly Census data, the market share of rental units of multifamily construction starts increased to 94.2% during the fourth quarter of 2021.  In contrast, the historical low share of 47% was set during the third quarter of 2005, during the condo building boom. An average share of 80% was registered during the 1980-2002 period. Condo… Read More ›

Gains for Single-Family Home Size

An expected impact of the virus crisis is a need for more residential space, as people use homes for more purposes including work. Recent data confirms this impact on the market continues to occur. According to fourth quarter 2021 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area increased… Read More ›