Eye On Housing - A Blog from NAHB

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National Association of Home Builders Discusses Economics and Housing Policy
Updated: 57 min 59 sec ago

OSB Prices Up Nearly 20% Since September 2016

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 16:49
The price of OSB increased 4.4% in September and has risen 19% and 38% since September and January 2016, respectively. The surge was in contrast with moderate increases in prices paid for gypsum products (+0.3%) and ready-mix concrete (+0.2%). The price of softwood lumber fell 0.9% in September, according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau... Read More ›

Construction Job Openings Reach New Cycle High

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 14:43
The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector continued to rise in August, reaching the highest level since February 2007. Given the significant need for repair and restoration work in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, we can expect additional increases in the months ahead. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number... Read More ›

Lot Values Stable at Record High

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 08:45
Single-family lot prices remained at record high levels in 2016, with half of the lots priced at or above $45,000. According to NAHB’s analysis of the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) data, the median lot value reached $45,000 for the first time in 2015 exceeding the previous record of $43,000 reached in 2006, in the midst of the housing... Read More ›

Hurricanes Impact Job Numbers in September

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 15:32
According to the Employment Situation for September 2017, reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), total nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 33,000 in September. According to the BLS, “A sharp employment decline in food services and drinking places and below-trend growth in some other industries likely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.” Employment growth has averaged 148,000... Read More ›

Share of New Homes with Porches Back Over 65 Percent

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 08:31
Of the roughly 780,000 single-family homes started in 2016, 65.1 percent included porches, according to NAHB tabulation of data from the Survey of Construction (SOC).  The SOC is conducted on an ongoing basis by the U.S. Census Bureau with partial funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Among other things, the SOC shows that, over the period when single-family starts were... Read More ›

Consumer Confidence Sheds Some Light on New Home Sales

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 13:30
The Conference Board recently reported that the Consumer Confidence Index declined slightly in September. The present situation index declined by 1.5% from 148.4 to 146.1, while the expectations index rose by 0.5% from 101.7 to 102.2. As a result, the Consumer Confidence Index decreased by 0.5% to 119.8 in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, from 120.4 last month. The... Read More ›

Large Builder Share Edges Upward in Major Markets

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 08:28
NAHB’s analysis of information published in Builder Magazine shows that, although major markets became slightly less concentrated overall, large builders tended to gain market share. Every year, Builder Magazine lists the top local home builders, measured by total closings, in the country’s 50 largest markets.  For each of them, NAHB calculates four summary measures.  The first is a basic four-firm concentration ratio... Read More ›

Mortgage Rates on New Home Purchases Remain Low

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 14:05
The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that contract rates on purchases of newly-built homes rose 7 basis points over the month of August 2017 to 4.01 percent. The average mortgage rate on purchases of newly built homes is 47 basis points above the low touched in October 2017. However, it remains 17 basis points below the recent high reached in... Read More ›

Lot Size is at a New Record Low

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 08:45
The median lot size of a new single-family detached home sold in 2016 stands at 8,562 square feet, or just under one-fifth of an acre. This is a new record low and a small decline since 2015, when the median lot size fell under 8,600 square feet for the first time since Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) started tracking... Read More ›

Residential Fixed Investment Slows in Second Quarter

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 08:30
The final estimate of second quarter 2017 GDP growth (revised up two-tenths of a percentage point to 1.4%), shows that housing’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) declined from 15.6% to 15.5%. Likewise, the home building and remodeling component—residential fixed investment (RFI)—fell 0.1 percentage point to 3.5% as a share of GDP.  The slower second-quarter growth of RFI subtracted 0.3 percentage point... Read More ›

Private Residential Construction Spending Rises in August

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 12:57
NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $520.9 billion in August, 0.5% up from downwardly revised July estimates. It was the fourth consecutive monthly increase after a dip in April. Hurricane Harvey that made landfall late in August did not have significant impacts on... Read More ›

Most Local Economies Grew At A Slower Pace In Q1 2017

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 12:29
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 43 states and the District of Columbia in the first quarter of 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Only 15 states saw an acceleration in its annualized rate of growth from the last quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017 while 35 states and the District of Columbia... Read More ›

Property Taxes by State – 2016

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 10:30
The 2016 American Community Survey data shows that New Jersey still leads the nation with the highest average annual real estate tax (RET) bill of $8,374—$7,707 more than RETs paid by Alabama’s homeowners. The difference between the highest-taxed state (New Jersey) and lowest (Alabama) grew by $481 in 2016. The overall distribution remained roughly unchanged since 2015, as the composition... Read More ›

U.S. Personal Income and Spending Rise in August

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 13:14
Personal income climbed 0.2% in August after the downwardly revised 0.3% growth in July, according to the most recent data release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Wages and Salaries, the biggest share of personal income, registered a slight increase of 0.04% after strong gains in June and July. Personal consumption expenditures edged up by 0.1% in August. Adjusted for... Read More ›

GDP Growth in Q2 Ticks Up With Third Estimate

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 12:33
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its third estimate of the nation’s economy for the second quarter of 2017. According to the release, faster economic growth was maintained over the second quarter. The nation’s economy, measured by real gross domestic product (GDP), rose by 3.1 percent over the April to June period. This rate of growth exceeds the... Read More ›

Home Price Appreciation Continues in July

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 12:57
S&P Dow Jones Indices released the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index for July. The report indicates that house price appreciation continues. The U.S. National Home Price Index rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 5.7% in July, following the 4.4% rate of growth in June. The Home Price Index released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)... Read More ›

Pending Sales Fall, Market Stalls

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 11:09
The Pending Home Sales Index decreased in August for the fifth time in six months, pulling 2017 existing sales below the pace set in 2016. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), decreased 2.6% to 106.3 in August, the lowest level since January 2016. The PHSI... Read More ›

New Home Sales Fall in August

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 11:52
Contracts for new single-family home sales declined 3.4% in August to a 560,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to estimates from the joint data release of HUD and the Census Bureau. This was the second month of decline for the pace of new home sales and the weakest rate since December of last year. The three-month moving average of new home sales also weakened to 585,000, the lowest... Read More ›

Homeowners’ Equity Continues to Improve

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 11:46
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System published the Financial Accounts of the United States for the second quarter of 2017. The balance sheet of U.S. households with real estate continues to improve as the increases in home prices continue. Households’ owner-occupied real estate increased to $23.8 trillion in the second quarter of 2017, $1,597 billion more than... Read More ›

New Single-Family Home Foundations in 2016

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 10:43
NAHB analysis of the Survey of Construction (SOC) shows that 56.8% of all new single-family started in 2016 were built on slab foundations, 27.4% had a full/partial basement, and 14.5% selected a crawl space. The gap between slab and full/partial basement foundation adoption rates is growing: the share built on slabs steadily increased from 46.0% in 2000 to 56.8% in... Read More ›