Recent Blog Posts

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), supports the ability of very low-, low-, and moderate-income Americans in rural areas of the country to own a home. The Section 502 Single Family Direct Program targets very low- and low-income rural households while the Single Family Guaranteed Program assists low- and moderate-income rural households. [1] Use of these programs peaked in two different periods. Activity under the 502 Direct Program peaked in 1976 while the 502 Guaranteed Program reached a zenith in 2013. According to the current budget scoring rules, the 502 Direct Program is a net cost to the federal government while the 502 Guaranteed Program generates a net surplus. According to the Federal Credit Supplement of the Budget of the U. Government, the subsidy rate in fiscal year 2016 on the 502 Direct program was 6.75 in Fiscal Year 2016 while the subsidy rate on the 502 Guaranteed program was -0.15 (Figure 1)S A program has a positive subsidy rate when the estimated cost to the government of providing credit exceeds the estimated collections from repayments, interest, and fees.

Homeowners Splurge on Master Bath Shower Features, Study Finds

Although master bathrooms continue to be one of the most popular rooms to renovate, the features within the spaces have evolved over the years. According to the 2017 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, released today, statement showers with more square footage, high-end features, such as rainfall showerheads, and accessible amenities are some of the most preferred additions in remodels.

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 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 joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. The headline decline was due to multifamily production decreases, although the July multifamily reading was revised upward from a 299,000 pace to 352,000. Single-family starts increased, rising slightly to an 851,000 seasonally adjusted rate in August.

The number of single-family homes built-for-rent appears to be slowing. Over the last four quarters, total production of this type of housing was 28,000 homes, compared to 35,000 during the four quarters prior. The slowing of this market, along with its relative small size, stands in contrast to public discussion concerning the overall size of the single-family rental market. According to data from the Census Bureau’s Read More Slowdown for Single-Family Built-for-Rent Construction