Tag Archive for ‘eye on the economy’

Eye on the Economy: Mixed Signals as Spring Data Bloom

With the unseasonably cold winter now finally over, the spring home building and selling season has begun. Economic data thus far presents mixed news. For example, new home sales disappointed for the month of March. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that March new home sales were down 14.5% in March to a… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: Existing Home Sales Down, New Home Sales Flat

In many parts of the country, spring began with winter-like conditions persisting. Without a doubt, unseasonably cold temperatures reduced economic activity during the first quarter of 2014, including home sales and construction. However, housing demand also weakened due to recent changes on the demand side of the market. Such changes can be seen in the contrasting data concerning new and… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: February Construction Holds Steady

As the unusually cold winter continued in many parts of the country, March builder confidence remained steady. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index came in at a level of 47, one point lower from February’s 46. Ongoing weather challenges and increasing concern among builders about supply chain issues have held builder confidence down in recent months. Census reported housing construction… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: New Home Sales Bounce Back in January

The housing market and the broader economy shivered at the end of 2013 as weather-related factors held consumers back and generated production delays. These impacts should prove temporary and our forecast remains positive for housing and home building for the year to come. Indeed, reports from January suggest some improvement over disappointing December data. New home sales in January, as… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: Cold Start for 2014

Weather and supply chain issues took a toll on home builder confidence and housing production at the start of 2014. The February NAHB/ Wells Fargo Housing Market Index fell 10 points to 46, dropping below the key 50 threshold for the first time since May 2013. The decline is the largest in the 30-year history of the index. Mirroring the… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: Residential Construction Spending Up 18% in 2013

While the year 2013 ended on a weak note for housing, the statistics for year-end totals reveal a strong performance for home building. Census data for December indicate that on a three-month moving average basis, for the year 2013 single-family construction was up 20%, multifamily gained 34.5%, and remodeling was up 14%. Total residential construction spending increased 18.3% year over… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: Positive Signs for 2014

Housing data for the end of 2013 cap off a year of post-recession growth. While construction activity remains below normal levels of production, the expansion experienced last year produced jobs and business growth. Yet headwinds remain in the form of rising materials costs and policy risk. The Census Bureau/HUD December housing starts report revealed a solid finish for the end… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: New Home Sales Rise in October

After dipping during the “pause” in September, new home sales rebounded in October. Some slowdown in housing was expected due to declines in consumer confidence and the uncertainty produced by the partial government shutdown. However, the October data add more evidence that the recovery for housing will continue into the new year. For the economy as a whole, job creation… Read More ›