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Eye On Housing, Author at Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders

Author: Eye On Housing

  1. Existing Sales Hit Inventory Wall

    Existing home sales, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), reversed a January gain and decreased 3.7% in February. At the current sales rate, the February unsold inventory represents a 3.8-month supply, compared to a 3.5-month supply in January. February existing sales were up 5.4% from the same month a year ago, and reached a seasonally adjusted rate… Read More ›

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  2. Rental Apartment Absorption Flat While Condominium Absorption Jumps

    The US Census Bureau, in collaboration with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, releases data on completions and absorption rates for multifamily buildings with at least 5 apartments. The most recent release shows that completions of nonsubsidized, unfurnished, rental apartments amounted to 73,800 in the third quarter of 2016. This is 11,700 more than the second quarter of 2016, but… Read More ›

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  3. Young Construction Workers Mean More Monitoring, Longer Projects

    As described in a previous post, employment in the residential construction industry reached 2.68 million in January of this year.  Although this is still well short of the 3.45 million at the peak of the boom in 2006, it nevertheless represents an increase of more than 700,000 jobs since the employment trough of the Great Recession in 2011. This raises… Read More ›

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  4. Job Growth Continues for Builders and Remodelers

    The count of unfilled jobs in the construction sector was below trend for the second consecutive month, as hiring has accelerated in the industry. 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) came in at 147,000 in January. The cycle high was 238,000 set in July of last… Read More ›

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  5. Solid Gain for Starts in February

    Total housing starts posted an increase in February, with a solid gain for single-family construction and ongoing elevated levels of multifamily development. Total starts were up 3%, rising to a 1.288 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. Single-family starts recorded a monthly increase of 6.5% in February, rising to an 872,000 annual rate,… Read More ›

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  6. March Meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee – Meeting Expectations

    Expectations were high that the March meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) would end with an announcement of a 25 basis point increase in the target range for the federal funds rate. Those expectations were met, and at the press conference following the meeting, when asked why the third increase came so quickly, after the first two came… Read More ›

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  7. Consumer Price Index Rose Slightly in February

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI), reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), rose in February. The CPI rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.5% in February, the smallest increase since July 2016. Excluding the volatile food and energy components, “core” CPI increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.5%, following the 3.8% increase in January. The… Read More ›

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  8. Builder Confidence Reaches Cycle High

    Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes jumped six points to a level of 71 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the highest reading since June 2005. While builders are clearly confident, we expect some moderation in the index moving forward. Builders continue to face a number of challenges, including… Read More ›

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  9. Softwood Lumber, Gypsum Products Lead Price Increases Among Building Materials

    The prices of softwood lumber, gypsum, ready-mix concrete, and OSB all increased in February, according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The increases were led by gypsum products, with softwood lumber a close second. After decreasing in four of five months, the price of softwood lumber rose in February. The 4.8% increase was the… Read More ›

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  10. Home Equity Reaches A New Peak

    According to the Federal Reserve Board’s fourth quarter of 2016 release of its Financial Accounts of the United States report, household holdings of real estate, measured on a not seasonally adjusted basis, totaled $23.102 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2016, $1.535 trillion higher than its level in the fourth quarter of 2015. Home mortgage debt outstanding, $9.754 trillion in… Read More ›

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