Eye On Housing - A Blog from NAHB

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National Association of Home Builders Discusses Economics and Housing Policy
Updated: 19 min 51 sec ago

LMI Indicates Continued Improvement Across The Country

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 10:00
According to the NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), 82%, 277 metropolitan statistical areas, recorded growth in their LMI Score over the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to a year ago. The index uses single-family housing permits, employment, and home prices to measure proximity to a normal economic and housing market. The index is calculated for 337 local markets, metropolitan statistical areas... Read More ›

UK Mortgages – High Share for Interest-Only Debt

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 10:00
New data from the UK offers a reminder of how different housing finance systems are nation to nation. Almost one in five home owners in the UK has an interest-only mortgage, with three maturity peaks. In contrast, only 0.2% of 2017 US home purchase and refinance originations were interest-only as reported by Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, a property... Read More ›

Green Single-family Building Practices

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 08:29
In a sample of homes from 246 single-family builders, about one-fourth have enough green features to meet the minimum point requirement for certification under the National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS).  However, only about 11 percent of the homes actually have NGBS certifications, according to a recently released report from NAHB. The report is based on NAHB’s Green Practices Survey, which was conducted in several stages during 2017 and collected information on sustainable and... Read More ›

Interest Rates Rise

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 13:36
According to the Mortgage Interest Rate Survey produced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, contract rates on 30-Year fixed rate mortgages ticked up one basis point in December 2017 to 4.01 percent. Information provided by Freddie Mac, a more commonly used series, showed a similar trend over the month of December with its contract rate on the 30-Year fixed rate... Read More ›

Job Growth in January Was “Solid”

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 12:50
The U.S. economy entered the New Year with a strong gain in payroll employment and the lowest unemployment rate since 2001. According to the Employment Situation for January 2018 reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 200,000 in January and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1% for the fourth consecutive month. Today’s... Read More ›

Private Residential Spending Reaches Cycle High

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 13:35
NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending rose 0.5% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $526.1 billion, the highest level since March 2007. Total private residential construction spending rose 6.2% last year, after increasing 12.5% in 2016. The monthly gains are largely attributed to the increase in multifamily construction spending.... Read More ›

55+ Housing Market Ends Fourth Quarter on Record-High

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:07
The 55+ Single-Family Housing Market Index (55+ HMI) jumped 12 points to reach a record high of 71 in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders (Figure 1). The fourth quarter also marks the 15th consecutive quarter in which the index has been above 50, the break-even point at which more respondents view conditions as... Read More ›

Fed Stands Pat at Chair Yellen’s Final FOMC Meeting

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 15:31
In Janet Yellen’s final meeting as Chair, the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC or Committee) voted unanimously to maintain the federal funds rate, its short-term policy rate, at a range of 1.25 percent and 1.50 percent, a level it deems “accommodative”. According to estimates of financial markets expectations, this decision was widely expected. Calculations of the appropriate level for the... Read More ›

Pending Sales Rise in December

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 15:24
According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHS), signed contracts for existing homes rose 0.5% nationwide over the month of December 2017. According to the NAR, the PHS, a leading indicator of housing activity, measures housing contract activity, and is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos, and co-ops. Because a... Read More ›

Strong Owner Household Formation Brings Homeownership Rate Up

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 14:20
The U.S. homeownership rate stands at 64.2% in the fourth quarter 2017, up from 63.7% a year ago and 63.9% last quarter, according to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS). After dropping to a cycle low of 62.9% in the second quarter 2016, the national homeownership rate seems to be on a sustainable upward trend now. Compared to the... Read More ›

Home Price Appreciation Continued in November

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 14:20
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 8.4% in November, unchanged from October. In the first eleven months of 2017, home price appreciation was 6.0% on average, slightly higher than 5.3% of 2016. The Home Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) rose... Read More ›

Saving Rate Hits the Lowest Level Since 2005

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 13:36
The US saving rate dropped to 2.4%, according to the most recent data release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. It is the lowest level since September 2005 and a direct result of US consumer spending rising faster than income. It has been on the downward path since 2016 when rising consumption contributed to fueling economic growth. Personal consumption expenditures... Read More ›

Economy Grows for 8th Consecutive Year

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 11:01
According to a release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the nation’s real gross domestic product (GDP) slowed to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. Despite the slowdown, GDP growth over all of 2017 accelerated to 2.3 percent, faster than the 1.5 percent rate of growth in 2016. The annual increase in... Read More ›

Concentration of Immigrant Workers across Construction Occupations

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 08:45
As the housing industry gains momentum and the demand for workers increases, labor shortages top the list of the crucial impediments to robust housing recovery. As native-born workers are slow to return to the construction industry, the role and share of foreign-born workers has been rising since the housing recovery got underway. Immigrant workers now account for close to one... Read More ›

Cash Sales Tie Post-Recession High

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 12:16
NAHB analysis of the most recent Quarterly Sales by Price and Financing published by the Census Bureau reveals that cash sales accounted for 11,000 new home sales in the fourth quarter of 2017. Cash purchases also accounted for 11,000 new home sales in Q2 2017, but only made up 6.5% of the total. In contrast, they made up 7.9% of purchases in... Read More ›

Despite December Decline, New Home Sales End 2017 Higher

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 11:59
According to the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales of new single-family homes moderated in December 2017, giving back a portion of the gains accrued in November. Over the month of December, sales of new single-family homes fell by 9.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 625,000 following a 15.1 percent... Read More ›

Existing Sales Decline 3.6% in December

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 11:15
Existing-home sales decreased 3.6% in December, but the first-time buyer share rebounded to 32% from 29% last month. The National Association of Realtors reported that existing sales for all of 2017 increased 1.1% from the previous year, and was the best year for sales in 11 years. Some 44% of homes sold last month were on the market less than... Read More ›

California, Texas, and DC Most Reliant on Immigrant Construction Workers

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 08:45
Earlier this month, we published a post highlighting the rising share of immigrant workers in construction. Immigrant workers now account for close to one in four workers, the highest share recorded by the American Community Survey (ACS). In some states, reliance on foreign-born labor is even more pronounced with immigrants comprising more than 40% of the construction labor force. Traditionally,... Read More ›

Single-Family Homes Make Up 1/3 of Rental Stock

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 09:30
The 2016 American Community Survey shows that renters occupied 43.8 million residences in 2016. Of these rental homes, 34.8% are one-unit single-family homes (attached and detached), 17.7% are 2- 4 unit structures. Therefore, more than half of all renters, approximately 53%, lived in buildings with less than 5 units in 2016. Single-family homes made up a substantial share of rentals... Read More ›

One-Person Construction Trade Firms

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 08:50
From the trough of the housing downturn in 2010 through 2015, the number of homes under construction increased by 131 percent and the number of employees working in construction trade businesses increased by 18 percent.  Over that span, how much would you guess the number of one-person construction trade firms increased?  The answer, believe it or not, is not at all. ... Read More ›