Eye On Housing - A Blog from NAHB

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National Association of Home Builders Discusses Economics and Housing Policy
Updated: 1 hour 55 min ago

Homeownership Rate Bottomed Out?

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 15:08
According to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS), the U.S. homeownership rate was 63.7% in the second quarter 2017, which is statistically no different from its last quarter reading of 63.6%. The rate of homeownership appears to be stabilizing after reaching a cycle low of 62.9% in the second quarter 2016. It was 1.3% higher than a year ago... Read More ›

FHA-backed Loans Finance Smallest Share of New Home Sales Since 2014

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 11:53
NAHB analysis of the most recent Quarterly Sales by Price and Financing published by the Census Bureau reveals that FHA-backed loans were responsible for 11.9% of new home sales during the second quarter of 2017. The share of sales financed with FHA-backed mortgages has fallen five percentage points over the past four quarters and is below 12% for the first... Read More ›

FOMC Balance Sheet Normalization Coming “Relatively Soon”

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 10:30
In a statement following its two-day meeting covering July 25 and 26, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC or the Committee) decided to “maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1 to 1.25 percent”. All FOMC members voted in favor of this decision. In its statement, the FOMC maintains that, at this level, “the stance of monetary policy remains... Read More ›

New Home Sales Expand Moderately

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 11:52
Sales of new single-family homes rose 0.8 percent in June 2017 to 610,000 as reported jointly by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The June increase reflected a downward revision to the estimate of new home sales in May. If the May sales number remained at its initially reported level of 610,000, then sales would... Read More ›

Home Prices in May – Another Slow Growth Month

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 12:07
In May national home prices rose slowly, while the pace of gains varied by market. The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 2.6% in May, the slowest rate of growth in the past 11 months. After reaching 8.7% in November 2016, house price appreciation has... Read More ›

June Existing Sales Slow

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 11:01
Existing home sales decreased 1.8 % in June, but remain 0.7% above the pace a year ago. Some 54% of homes sold last month were on the market less than a month as buyers overcame low inventory and higher prices. June inventory declined 0.5%, and remains 7.1% lower than a year ago, having fallen year-over-year for the 25th consecutive month.... Read More ›

Builders Concerns of Lot Availability Unchanged from 2016

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 09:00
The monthly NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) survey includes a set of “special” questions on a topic of current interest to the housing industry. In June 2017, the special questions asked builders about the supply and price of developed lots. Sixty-four percent of builders reported that the overall supply of developed lots in their areas was low to very... Read More ›

Remodeling Market Indicator Remains in Positive Territory

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 10:06
The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) dropped 3 points to 55 in the second quarter of 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Although the RMI posted a decrease, it has been at or above 50 for 17 consecutive quarters. A reading above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher (compared to the prior quarter)... Read More ›

Single-Family Starts Bounce Back in June

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:19
Total housing starts bounced back in June after a weak May. Total starts increased 8.3% to a  1.215 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. Monthly increases were recorded for both single-family and multifamily development. Single-family starts moved forward, increasing to an 849,000 annual rate in June. The February annualized... Read More ›

Shelter Prices Contribute to Consumer Inflation

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 12:30
Consumer prices faced by urban consumers nationwide, as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index – Urban Consumer (CPI), rose by 1.6 percent over the past year on a not seasonally adjusted dating back to June 2016. However, over the past month, consumer prices were unchanged (seasonally adjusted basis). The Shelter Price Index was a key contributor... Read More ›

Builder Confidence Slips Two Points in July, Remains Solid

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:15
Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes slipped two points to 64 in July from a downwardly revised June reading on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). It is the lowest reading since November 2016. Members are expressing significant concerns over rising material prices, particularly lumber. This issue, along with other significant supply-side... Read More ›

Residential Construction Loan Growth at Smaller Banks Has Slowed

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 13:30
Residential construction loans held by banks have grown over the past 4 years. However, in recent quarters, growth in the stock of residential construction loans has slowed. The recent slowdown in residential construction loan volume largely reflects a deceleration in growth across smaller banks, those with assets below $10 billion. These banks hold the majority of the bank-held residential construction... Read More ›

Specialty Contractor Partnerships’ Use of Debt and Capital

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 08:30
Specialty contractors structured as partnerships generated aggregate net income of $4.5 billion in 2014, according to the most recent IRS data available.[1] These data are broken out by industry and income tax deductions, allowing us to compare the use of tax deductions by partnerships across a wide array of sectors. Analyzing the size of depreciation and business interest deductions taken... Read More ›

Prices of Softwood Lumber and OSB Decline in June

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 10:54
The prices of softwood lumber and OSB fell by 3.0% and 0.4%, respectively, in June according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In contrast, prices paid for gypsum and ready-mix concrete increased 1.3% and 0.4%, respectively, over the month. The softwood lumber price index fell for the first time in seven months... Read More ›

What Do Home Buyers Buy after Moving

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 08:45
In a prior recent post we discussed NAHB research showing how during the first year after closing on a home sale, home buyers tend to spend considerably more money on furnishings, appliances and remodeling compared to non-moving owners. Buyers of new homes spend most, outspending non-movers by a factor of 2.6. Buyers of existing homes spend twice as much as... Read More ›

Open Construction Jobs Fall in May

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 10:46
The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector declined in May, falling to level below that recorded a year ago. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs (on a seasonally adjusted basis) stood at 154,000 in May. The cycle high was 238,000, set in July of last year. The open position rate... Read More ›

Builders Starting to Report Shortages of Framing Lumber

Mon, 07/10/2017 - 08:28
For several years now, the recovery in single-family home building has been hampered by shortages of labor and lots.  Availability of building materials, meanwhile, has not been much of an issue.  But that may be starting to change. In answer to questions on the May 2017 survey for the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, 21% of single-family builders reported a shortage... Read More ›

U.S. Total Payroll Employment Gains Accelerated in June

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:52
June’s employment gains accelerated while the unemployment rate ticked up. Moreover, employment in residential construction kept increasing with the lower unemployment rate. According to the Employment Situation for June 2017 reported by the BLS, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 222,000 in June, faster than the 152,000 gains in May. The unemployment rate rose to 4.4%, from a 16-year low... Read More ›

How a Home Purchase Boosts Consumer Spending

Thu, 07/06/2017 - 08:30
Using the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), NAHB Economics research shows that a home purchase triggers additional spending on appliances, furnishings, and remodeling. NAHB’s most recent estimates are based on the 2012-2014 data and show that during the first two years after closing on the house, a typical buyer of a newly-built single-family... Read More ›

Private Residential Construction Spending Declines in May

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 12:29
NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending fell 0.6% in May, the first decline after a strong start this year and the largest one since June 2014. The recent slowdown follows the housing starts declines over the three consecutive months. Nevertheless, the total private residential construction spending is 11.2% higher than a year... Read More ›