Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Townhouse Market Share Growing Off Recent Lows

When we last reported on townhouse construction (attached single-family housing), townhouses had reached a decade low in terms of share of the total single-family construction market. We expected this short-run decline to end and the share of construction for townhouses to rise to its historically increasing long-run trend. Census data from the fourth quarter of 2011 suggests that this is happening. While the… Read More ›

Homeownership Rate Drops to Lowest Point in 15 Years

After hovering around 66 percent in each of the last three quarters, the Census Bureau reported the seasonally adjusted homeownership rate fell to 65.5 percent during the first quarter of 2012. With this latest decline, the homeownership rate has slipped nearly 4 percentage points from its peak during the mid-2000s and its current level marks the lowest reading since 1997…. Read More ›

Consumer Confidence Holds Steady in April

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey both pointed to consumer confidence remaining generally unchanged between March and April 2012. Nonetheless, viewing the overall indexes from both surveys using a 3-month moving average, one can still see an appreciable increase in consumer confidence since the third quarter of last year. The current… Read More ›

Federal Open Market Committee April Meeting Statement + Bernanke’s Press Conference

The statement following the April 24-25 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) contained no surprises. The characterization of economic conditions differed little from the March statement: the labor market is improving but the unemployment rate remains elevated; household spending and business investment continue to advance; the housing sector remains depressed; inflation is in check. Economic growth will pick… Read More ›

Pending Home Sales Increase

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, increased 4.1 percent in March to its highest level since April 2010 when the federal homebuyer tax credit program was ending. The March increase was on top of an upwardly revised February 2012 PHSI of 97.4, and the PHSI is now 12.8 percent above the March 2011 level…. Read More ›

House Price Reports for February – Too Close To Call

Both S&P/Case-Shiller (CS) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released monthly home price indexes for February today. The FHFA released data for the US and the 9 Census divisions, based strictly on February transactions. CS released data for their 10 and 20 city composites, and the component cities, based on three month averages including data from December through February…. Read More ›

The Housing Recovery is Slow Going, But Things Are Improving

There has been a flurry of media stories regarding the latest housing data that suggest the recent momentum in the housing market has stalled and the industry is heading toward another downturn. Although the latest monthly housing data showed modest declines, the less volatile quarterly data have continued to show modest improvement.  Consequently, there is plenty of evidence for retaining… Read More ›

Existing Home Sales Decline Slightly, but are Up from a Year Ago

March 2012 existing home sales declined 2.6 percent from the upwardly revised February level, but are up 5.2 percent from the same period a year ago. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported March 2012 total existing home sales were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.48 million single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops. The upwardly revised February 2012 seasonally… Read More ›