Tag Archive for ‘home building’

Improving Markets Index Shows Modest Increase

The NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) increased in July to 84 from the June level of 80. The modest net increase was the result of an addition of 11 new metropolitan areas and a loss of seven areas. Six of the seven MSAs that were dropped from the list were because house prices fell back below their previous low… Read More ›

Property Tax Receipts Remain Constant Despite Housing Price Declines

Property taxes are an important source of revenue for state and local governments to finance services, particularly education. And despite claims to the contrary, property tax payments continue to provide an outsized share of state and local tax collections. From the first quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2011, approximately $471 billion of tax was paid by property… Read More ›

Pending Home Sales Increase

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, increased 5.9 percent in May 2012, from 95.5 in April.  At this level, the PHSI equaled the level of March 2012, and reached the highest level since the expiration of the home buyer tax credit in April 2010. The May PHSI was 13.3 percent higher than in May… Read More ›

Study Reveals Often Overlooked Costs of Environmental Regulation

A recent technical article by MIT Associate Professor of Economics Stephen Ryan investigates how a particular set of environmental regulations, the 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act, affected the Portland cement industry. Although the Amendments didn’t impose any new restrictions on pollutant levels, they did require firms in the industry to apply for permits, submit plans for monitoring compliance, and pay… Read More ›

Pent-Up Housing Demand: Number of “Shared Households” Grew from 2007 to 2010

Earlier this month, the Census Bureau published  a report examining “household sharing,” which is the situation in which people join or combine households. While the report does not examine the causes of household sharing, it is widely accepted that the housing crisis and the economic impacts of the Great Recession have led many individuals to share housing in order to… Read More ›

Improvement for New Home Sales in May

Sales of new single-family homes gained strength in May, after lackluster reports for March and April. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of new home sales increased to 369,000 according to estimates from the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. This represents a nearly 20% improvement for the sales rate year-over-year. Inventories of new home have remained approximately constant throughout… Read More ›

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 ›