Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Housing Market at Inflection Point as Builder Confidence Continues to Fall

Rapidly rising interest rates combined with ongoing home price increases and higher construction costs continue to take a toll on builder confidence and housing affordability. Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes moved two points lower to 77 in April, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the… Read More ›

Remodeling Market Remains Stable Year-over-Year

The NAHB/Westlake Royal Remodeling Market Index (RMI) for the first quarter of 2022 posted a reading of 86, unchanged from the first quarter of 2021.  The RMI and all of its components and subcomponents were 80 or higher (on a scale of 0 to 100) indicating broad-based positive remodeler sentiment. The RMI is based on a survey that asks remodelers… Read More ›

Steady Number of Open Construction Jobs

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 remained steady at 381,000 unfilled positions in February. 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 additional labor,… Read More ›

Employment Situation in February: State-Level Analysis

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 48 states and the District of Columbia in February compared to the previous month while Arkansas and Alaska lost jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 678,000 in February, following a gain of 481,000 jobs in January. On a month-over-month basis, employment data was strong in California,… Read More ›

In the Kitchen, First-Time Buyers Really Want Double Sinks and Pantries

Much like other home buyers, those buying their first homes rate double sinks and walk-in pantries as the most popular of 30 kitchen features listed in the recent NAHB study, What Home Buyers Really Want, 2021 Edition.  In the study, first-time (and other) home buyers rated over 200 home features—including 30 in the kitchen—on the following, four-tier scale (which emphasizes… Read More ›

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 ›