Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Employment Situation in January: State-Level Analysis

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 36 states in January compared to the previous month while 14 states and the District of Columbia reported job losses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 166,000 in January, following a decrease of 140,000 jobs in December. On a month-over-month basis, employment data was strong in Minnesota… Read More ›

Jump in Construction Job Openings in January

Job openings in construction increased in January to the highest count since the Fall of 2019 according to data from the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). Hiring in construction was strong as 2021 began. However, construction employment did decline in February as material prices increased. The JOLTS data is reported with a one-month lag, so the February… Read More ›

First-time Buyers Comprise 43 Percent of New Home Market

According to the February survey for the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), first-time home buyers account for 43 percent of the new home market.  Weighted by builder size (single-family homes started in 2020), about two-thirds of the builders reported that more than 20 percent of their homes were sold to first-time buyers. Twenty-seven percent even said more than half… Read More ›

Nearly 90 Percent of Builders Have Trouble Getting Appliances

In the survey results described in one of last week’s posts, prices of building material ranked as the number one problem among NAHB’s single-family builders, and availability of building materials ranked second.  These concerns are not surprising, given the surge in building material prices reported in the latest Producer Price Index data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Traditionally, when… Read More ›

New Home Sales Edge Higher in January

After a slight slowing of sales at the end of 2020, new single-family home sales edged higher in January, increasing 4.3% to a 923,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to estimates from the Census Bureau and HUD. Sales exceeded construction starts by a historic margin at the end of the summer, which necessitated an increase in starts and some slowing… Read More ›

Construction Loans End 2020 Lower

Continuing a period of volume decline that began at the end of 2019, the volume of residential construction lending posted a slight decline during the fourth quarter of 2020. Overall residential construction loan volume ended the year lower due to accelerated sales growth, which reduced outstand loans at a faster clip, and higher interest rates for AD&C financing. The volume… Read More ›

Flat Conditions for Custom Home Building

NAHB’s analysis of Census Data from the Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design survey indicates custom home building ended the year 2020 flat due second quarter weakness. There were 44,000 total custom building starts during the fourth quarter of the year, equal to the fourth quarter 2019 total. Over the last four quarters, custom housing starts totaled 176,000, roughly unchanged… Read More ›

Top Challenges for Builders: Building Materials Prices in 2020 & 2021

Building materials prices topped the list of problems builders faced in 2020 and is expected to return to the number one spot in 2021, according to special questions on the December 2020 survey for the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.   The survey results showed that building materials was a significant issue for 96% of builders last year.  In 2021, however,… Read More ›

Rebound for Townhouse Construction

According to NAHB analysis of the most recent Census data of Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design, townhouse construction expanded to a 2.5 year high during the final quarter of 2020. As housing demand has shifted to more suburban and exurban areas and housing affordability headwinds persist, medium-density construction initially lagged. However, a strong final quarter led to roughly flat… Read More ›