Eye On Housing - A Blog from NAHB

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National Association of Home Builders Discusses Economics and Housing Policy
Updated: 24 min 1 sec ago

Permits Grow Across Most States, Hurricane Effect Fading

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 11:02
Over the eleven months ending in November 2017, the total number of single-family permits issued nationwide reached 761,229. This is 10.2% ahead of its level over the first eleven months of 2016, 690,836. The results from the SOC are similar, single-family permits over the first eleven months of 2017, 761,100 are 10.3% ahead of their level over the same period... Read More ›

Single-Family Starts Pull Back in December

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 10:45
Total housing starts declined in December after strong readings for prior months due to weather-related delay effects in the fall. Total starts decreased 8% to a 1.19 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. Nonetheless, over the course of 2017 single-family starts posted a strong year, increasing 8.5% compared to 2016 to... Read More ›

The Remodeling Market Index Hits 60 in Fourth Quarter

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 10:05
The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) increased three points to 60 in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). This quarter marks the second time in the RMI’s history (dating back to 2001) in which the index reached 60 (Figure 1). For 19 consecutive quarters, the RMI has been at or above 50, which... Read More ›

Mortgages Rates Rise in 2017, but Remain Low Overall

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 10:30
Information provided by the Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) indicates that mortgage rates on purchases of newly built homes rose 7 basis points in November to 4.00 percent. At this level, rates remain below the 4.18 cycle peak level recorded in February. Meanwhile, a more commonly used rate reported by Freddie Mac indicates that mortgage rates rose by 2 basis... Read More ›

Builder Confidence Remains Strong as New Year Starts

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 10:02
Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes dropped two points to a level of 72 in January on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) after reaching an 18-year high in December 2017. Builders confidence remained strong given changes to the tax code will promote the small business sector and boost broader economic growth. Nonetheless, home... Read More ›

Core Inflation Remains Steady

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 11:30
Consumer prices, measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Consumer Price Index – Urban Consumer (CPI), rose by 2.1 percent on an unadjusted basis over the 12 months of 2017, and has broadly accelerated from the 1.63 percent reading in June 2017. Energy prices contributed to the increase in the headline measure of consumer inflation, climbing 6.9 percent over... Read More ›

Building Materials Prices and Labor Access Top Challenges for 2018

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 10:00
The monthly NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index includes a set of “special” questions on a topic of current interest to the housing industry. In December 2017, the special questions asked builders about the problems they faced in 2017 and expect to face in 2018. Topping the list of problems builders faced in 2017 and expect to face in 2018 is... Read More ›

Employment Rose in Most States

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 08:56
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 32 states and decreased in 17 states and the District of Columbia in November 2017 compared to October 2017 while the level of employment in Maine remained unchanged. Year-over-year, 47 states increased employment while four states lost payroll employment during this time. As a result payroll employment nationwide... Read More ›

Reluctant Return of Native-Born Construction Workers Drives the Immigrant Share Up

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 08:45
New NAHB research shows that the share of foreign-born workers in the US construction labor force has been rising since the housing recovery got underway. Immigrant workers now account for close to one in four workers, the highest share recorded by the American Community Survey (ACS). The time-series analysis shows that the rising share of immigrants in construction cannot be... Read More ›

Softwood Lumber, OSB, and Gypsum Lead 2017 Price Increases

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 16:49
Prices paid for OSB (-13.0%), softwood lumber (-1.0%), and inputs to residential construction (-0.1%), all decreased in December, according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The index for gypsum products advanced (+1.6%). Over the course of 2017, the price paid for every major input to construction NAHB tracks has increased. The following... Read More ›

Apartment and Condominium Absorption Increased in Q2 2017

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:30
The Census Bureau, in collaboration with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), produces the Survey of Market Absorption (SOMA), which tracks apartment and condominium completions, absorption rates (the share of apartments/condos rented or purchased within the first 3 months after completion), and asking rent prices. In the second quarter of 2017, completions of unfurnished, unsubsidized, privately financed apartments... Read More ›

Property Tax Revenue Increases for 22nd Consecutive Quarter

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:00
NAHB analysis of the Census Bureau’s quarterly tax data shows that $556 billion in taxes were paid by property owners over the four quarters ending in Q3 2017.[1] It has now been five and a half years since four-quarter property tax revenues last declined, although the growth rate has slowed and is behind that of corporate income taxes and individual income taxes... Read More ›

States in the South and West Led 2017 Population Growth

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 09:16
The U.S. population grew by 2.3 million between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, representing a 0.7% increase from 323.4 million to 325.7 million according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s national and state population estimates. Despite some volatility, U.S. population growth has been slowly declining since 1992 as shown by the chart below. Over the 1990 to 1999 period... Read More ›

Consumer Confidence Decreases in December

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 09:00
The Conference Board recently reported that the Consumer Confidence Index decreased in December, after a modest improvement in November. The Present Situation Index increased by 1.1% from 154.9 to 156.6, while the Expectations Index declined by 10.7% from 111.0 to 99.1 over the last month of 2017. As a result, the Consumer Confidence Index decreased by 5.1% to 122.1 in... Read More ›

148,000 Jobs Added in December

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 10:31
According to the Employment Situation for December 2017 reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 148,000 in December and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1% for the third consecutive month. Employment growth has averaged 171,000 per month in 2017, compared with the average monthly growth of 187,000 over all of 2016. The... Read More ›

Pending Sales Up 0.2% in November

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 10:00
The Pending Home Sales Index increased slightly by 0.2% in November, and is 0.8% above a year ago. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) is a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The PHSI increased 4.1% in the Northeast and 0.4% in the Midwest, but decreased 0.4% in the South and 1.8%... Read More ›

Private Residential Spending Is On the Rise

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 13:34
NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending rose 1% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $530.8 billion. It was the highest level since February 2007. Total private residential construction spending was 7.9% higher than a year ago. The monthly gains are largely attributed to the strong growth of spending on... Read More ›

Home Prices Continue to Increase in October

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 09:53
S&P Dow Jones Indices reported that the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which uses prices of existing homes, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 8.4% in October, slightly slower than the 8.5% increase in September. The September increase was revised down from its original estimate of 9.0%. Meanwhile, the Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing... Read More ›

NAHB Economics Presentations at IBS

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 14:00
The 2018 NAHB International Builders Show opens in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at the Orange County Convention Center. NAHB’s Economics and Housing Policy staff will offer analyses of what to expect in 2018 for all sectors of the housing market. A sample of sessions, including locations, is offered below.   The 2018 Housing & Economic Outlook January... Read More ›

Consumer Spending Up, Saving Rate Down

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 11:45
The most recent data release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that personal consumption expenditures increased 0.6% in November following a downwardly revised increase of 0.2% in October. Adjusted to remove the price change, real personal spending was up by 0.4% after being virtually unchanged in October. This increase is mostly due to a higher spending on nondurable goods.... Read More ›