Tag Archive for ‘economy’

House Price Growth Shows Signs of Normalizing

The recent release by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) shows that its measure of house prices, House Price Index – Purchase Only, rose by 5.3% on a 12-month seasonally adjusted basis in November 2014. This marks the 34th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Over this period of more than two-and-a-half years, house prices have risen by 19.0% and have… Read More ›

Is it Easy to Obtain a Mortgage?

For many households, obtaining a mortgage is the most important step when seeking to purchase a home. As housing analysts, a natural question to ask when assessing the prospects for home buying is “how easy is it for households to obtain a mortgage?” The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) or Fannie Mae attempts to shed light on this question with… Read More ›

MBA Introduces New Index Tracking Mortgages for New Homes

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS), mortgage applications for new home purchases decreased by a not seasonally adjusted monthly rate of 8.4% in May 2014. However, on a 12-month basis, mortgage applications for new home purchases in May 2014 were 4.9% higher than their level in May 2013. This is the fifth consecutive month of… Read More ›

Economists Agree That Housing Recovery Likely To Continue

Yesterday, NAHB hosted its bi-annual Construction Forecast Webinar (CFW). The CFW featured three industry experts. NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe was joined by Maury Harris, Chief US Economist at UBS, and NAHB Senior Economist Robert Denk to present views on the outlook for the US economy and the housing market more specifically. Here are the major points from the presentation:… Read More ›

A Good Source for Property Tax Information

Property tax systems vary markedly in the United States. From assessment ratios to valuation standards even the terminology is inconsistently applied. The differences exist not only across states but often within states. In Illinois, for example, real property is assessed at 33.33% of fair cash value for all counties except those with a population of more than 200,000. Thankfully, keeping… Read More ›

Consumers Glum about Current Economic Conditions

The two major surveys used to measure consumer confidence, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey, offered conflicting opinions on consumers’ assessment of future economic conditions. The CCI showed consumers becoming slightly more optimistic about future economic activity while the University of Michigan survey’s expected conditions component plunged 13.6% to its lowest… Read More ›

Beige Book Shows Slower Growth in Many Areas

The newest release of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book offers more evidence that the economic recovery has failed to gain much traction across much of the nation. The report, which is a summary of reports from business contacts within each of the Federal Reserve’s 12 individual districts, indicated economic growth has moderated in the majority of districts. In particular, the… Read More ›

More Good News on House Prices — Case-Shiller House Price Index Continues to Improve in May

House prices continued to improve in May with Standard and Poor’s reporting the second consecutive monthly increase in both Case-Shiller composite house price indexes (HPIs) in May. The Case-Shiller Composite 20 (CS20) gained 1.1% (NSA) and the Composite 10 (CS10) was up 1.0%. This follows a 0.6% increase in both indexes in April, which was the first monthly increase since… Read More ›

Consumer Price Index Down in June

The steady rise of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) ended in June, ending an eleven-month run of gains that started last July. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a 0.2% (SA) rate of decline in the CPI for All Urban Consumers in June. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index has increased 3.6% (NSA). Gasoline prices had been… Read More ›