Tag Archive for ‘home building’

Monetary Policy: Operation Twist Extended

On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the branch of the Federal Reserve that determines monetary policy, announced an extension of the ongoing policy sometimes referred to as “operation twist.” This policy seeks to keep long-term interest rates low, thereby stimulating the economy, by selling Treasury securities with short maturities (three years or less) and purchasing Treasury securities with maturities… Read More ›

The Connection between Student Loans and Housing

On July 1st, among other changes, interest rates on newly originated Stafford student loans are scheduled to increase from 3.4% to 6.8%. Due to this looming deadline, there has been a lot of attention paid to the rising amount of student loan debt. Some of this commentary goes as far as saying that recent data indicate a bubble exists for… Read More ›

Existing Home Sales Decline

May 2012 existing home sales declined 1.5 percent from April, but are up 9.6 percent from the same period a year ago. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported May 2012 total existing home sales were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.55 million combined for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops. The April 2012 seasonally adjusted rate was 4.62… Read More ›

Multifamily Starts Drop in May

Total housing starts declined in May due to a 21.3% drop in multifamily construction. The annualized rate of starts for housing units in properties with five or more units fell from 236,000 to 179,000 in May. However, the starts rate for multifamily units typically displays a great deal of volatility. Under a three-month moving average, the five-plus starts rate fell… Read More ›

JOLTS Data: Slight Slowdown for Labor Market in April Confirmed

April data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) confirm the labor market experienced a slowdown during March and April, including a deceleration in construction sector hiring. The theories explaining this slowing include unusually warm weather that accelerated economic activity at the expense of future months and more ominous structural explanations related to broader macroeconomic weakness.  Overall, the data suggest that the early growth in… Read More ›

Mixed May Starts Report

May housing starts were down 4.8% from a revised April number to an annual rate of 708,000, but starts in the larger single-family sector were up 3.2% to an annual rate of 516,000 and except for December 2011 the highest since end of the home buyer credit in early 2010. A 21.3% drop in multifamily apartment construction pulled the total… Read More ›

Starts in Age Restricted Communities Up Slightly in 2011

In 2009, at the request of NAHB and possibly other stakeholders, the Census Bureau’s Manufacturing and Construction Division added a question on age-restricted communities to its Survey of Construction (the survey that gives us  housing starts, among other things).  In June of this year, for the first time, the Census Characteristics of New Housing release included enough of this new information… Read More ›