Eye On Housing - A Blog from NAHB

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National Association of Home Builders Discusses Economics and Housing Policy
Updated: 57 min 48 sec ago

Apartment Absorption Flat While Condo Absorption Climbs

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 09:35
The Census Bureau, in collaboration with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), recently released 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 prices. In the first quarter of 2017, completions of unfurnished, unsubsidized, privately financed apartments... Read More ›

Implications Of FOMC Normalization Process For Mortgage Rates

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 18:08
In its statement, the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) left its key interest rate unchanged at a range of 1.0 to 1.25 percent. As signaled in its last statement, the FOMC, beginning in October, will initiate the balance sheet normalization program. The contents of this program are described in the June 2017 Addendum to the Committee’s Policy Normalization Principles and... Read More ›

August Existing Sales Remain Sluggish

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:41
August existing sales declined for the fourth time in five months, and only some of that decline was attributed to Hurricane Harvey. Despite gains in the Northeast and Midwest, existing home sales fell 1.7% in August, and remained only 0.2% above the level a year ago. Some 51% of homes sold last month were on the market less than a... Read More ›

Single-Family Starts Post Slight Gain in August

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 10:16
The pace of single-family starts posted a slight gain in August, albeit over downwardly revised estimates of the rate of July construction. Nonetheless, the three-month moving average for single-family starts is at a post-recession high of 849,000 as the gradual recovery in home building continues. Total starts declined almost 1% in August to a 1.180 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the... Read More ›

Builder Confidence Drops As Hurricanes Add Uncertainty

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 10:03
Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes fell three points to a level of 64 in September from a downwardly revised August reading of 67 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The recent hurricanes have intensified our members’ concerns about the availability of labor and the cost of building materials. Despite this... Read More ›

Inflation Accelerated in August

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 10:21
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that its seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index – Urban Consumer (CPI) rose by 0.4 percent over the month of August, a significant acceleration from the 0.1 percent month-over-month increase in July. Prices of energy commodities, gasoline in particular, rose by 6.1 percent over the month after treading flat in July. At the same... Read More ›

How New Home Buyers Financed Their Homes in 2016

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 08:45
NAHB analysis of the 2016 Census Bureau Survey of Construction (SOC) data shows that reliance on non-conventional forms of financing varied across the United States, with its share exceeding 37% in the South Atlantic division but accounting for less than 20% of new single-family home starts in the East South Central and East North Central divisions. Nationwide, the share of... Read More ›

Softwood Lumber, OSB Lead August Price Increases

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 19:02
The prices of softwood lumber, OSB, and ready-mix concrete increased by 2.5%, 2.9%, and 0.5%, respectively, in August according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In contrast, the price paid for gypsum fell 0.6%, its first monthly decline since May. Softwood lumber prices rose for the second consecutive month the 3.0% decrease in June. ... Read More ›

Over 60 Percent of Construction Firms Are Profitable Ventures

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 13:08
According to recently released data from the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (ASE), 61.3 percent of American construction firms are profitable commercial enterprises.  The differences between construction and businesses in other industries in this regard are relatively minor.  As Exhibit 1 shows, the shares of construction businesses recording positive profits, breaking even, and sustaining losses are all within 1.2 percentage points of the averages across all U.S. industries. The... Read More ›

Construction Job Openings Rise During Summer

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 10:29
The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector continued to rise in July, following an increase in June and a soft month in May. 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. NAHB, for example, estimates a need for an additional 10,000 to 20,000 construction... Read More ›

A Deeper Look at Rent-Burdened Households

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 09:05
Households paying 30 percent of more in rent, a threshold long used by the federal government to identify “rent-burdened” households, has been a significant housing issue for some time. Nearly half of renter households (48 percent) in the U.S. were rent-burdened in 2015.[1]  The large share of rent-burdened households is a symptom of the broader affordability problem in the housing... Read More ›

Sources of Home Buyers and New Renters

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 13:08
According to NAHB’s latest special study, households who recently changed addresses fall into a natural order:  1) Buyers of Newer Homes, 2) Buyers of Older Homes, 3) Renters of Newer Homes, and 4) Renters of Older Homes, As you move up the scale from 4 to 1, the following interrelated tendencies become evident: The movers have, on average, higher incomes.  More of... Read More ›

Custom and Spec Home Market Shares in 2016

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 08:45
NAHB’s analysis of the most recent Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) shows that custom home building registered declining market shares across most US regions in 2016. The sharpest drop in the custom home share of new single-family starts took place in the East South Central division, from 35% to 27%. The two exceptions are the Mountain and Pacific divisions... Read More ›

New Single-Family Housing Starts by Divisions in 2016 – Long Road Back to Normal

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 10:13
NAHB analysis of the Survey of Construction (SOC) shows that, nationally, there were 779,082 new single-family units started in 2016, 10% higher than 2015. According to the NAHB tabulation of data from the 2016 Survey of Construction, new single-family housing starts were divided into the nine Census divisions, including Pacific, Mountain, West North Central, West South Central, East North Central,... Read More ›

Time to Build an Apartment Building in 2016

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 12:30
The average length of time to complete construction of a multifamily building, after obtaining authorization, was 15 months according to the 2016 Survey of Construction (SOC) from the Census Bureau. The permit-to-completion time increased by approximately one month from 2015 to 2016, as per unit median square footage and share of multifamily for sale rose. The average time to build... Read More ›

Time to Build a Single-Family Home in 2016

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 13:25
The 2016 Survey of Construction (SOC) from the Census Bureau shows that the average completion time of a single-family house is around 7.5 months, which usually includes almost a month from authorization to start and another 6.5 months to finish the construction. The timeline from authorization to completion, however, which is not consistent across the nation, depends on the housing... Read More ›

Declining Mortgage Rates As A Signal Of Future Economic Performance

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 11:49
Contract rates on mortgages used to purchase newly built homes fell by 9 basis points over the month of July 2017. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, contract rates settled at 3.94 percent in July. In June, contract rates were 4.03 percent. After rising to 4.18 percent in February 2017, an increase of 64 basis points from the October... Read More ›

AD&C Financing Conditions Ease, But At A Slower Pace

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 10:00
Builders and developers responding to NAHB’s AD&C Financing Survey continue to report easing credit conditions for acquisitions, development, and single-family construction loans. In the second quarter of 2017, the overall net tightening index based on the AD&C survey was -10.7, indicating net easing. All major categories of AD&C financing also recorded net easing, but land acquisition and single-family construction loans... Read More ›

Private Residential Construction Spending Rises in July

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 12:30
NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $523.1 billion in July, 0.8% up from upwardly revised June estimates. It was the third consecutive monthly increase after a dip in April. The total private residential construction spending was 11.6% higher than a year ago. The... Read More ›

156,000 Jobs Added in August, 13,000 in Residential Construction

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 11:21
According to the Employment Situation for August 2017 reported by the BLS, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 156,000 in August, less than 189,000 gains in July. Employment growth has averaged 176,000 per month so far this year, compared with the average monthly growth of 187,000 in 2016. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.4% in August, from... Read More ›

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