Recent Blog Posts

A house under construction in Livermore, Calif. , in August. New construction of single-family homes is stuck near levels hit during the early 1990s recession. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News The U. housing market dragged the economy into a deep recession nearly eight years agoS Could it now insulate the domestic expansion during a fragile period of global growth.

Interest rates on conventional mortgages for newly built homes fell again in August 2016 according to data released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFHA), extending the decline to 7 consecutive months. The FHFA data show that the average contract rate on the loans fell from 3.64% to 3.60%, while initial fees and charges went from 1.11% to 1.09%. As a result, the average effective interest rate on loans used to purchase newly built homes, which amortizes initial fees over the estimated life of the loan, dropped to 3.68% from 3.74%.

Recently released data from the US Census’ Survey of Construction (SOC) show that 10 percent of single-family homes started in 2015 have 2 or less bedrooms, 43 percent have 3 bedrooms, 36 percent have 4 bedrooms, and 11 percent have 5 or more bedrooms. Three bedroom homes have consistently been the most common type of new single-family home built. However, the share of new homes with 3 bedrooms has declined, going from 54 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2015 (Figure 1).

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes remained unchanged in April at a level of 58 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Builders remain cautiously optimistic about housing market growth. NAHB is forecasting faster single-family construction growth for 2016 than the 10% gain recorded in 2015. However, difficulties associated with access to labor and building lots are restraining growth in many local markets. Nonetheless, healthy levels of  Read More Builder Confidence Unchanged in April

September 16, 2015 Builder confidence in the market for newly constructed single-family homes continued its steady rise in September with a one point increase to a level of 62 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). It is the highest reading since October 2005. "The HMI shows that single-family housing is making solid progress, said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo.