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State & National Updates
Eye on the Economy

Federal Reserve Holds Rates Steady

 

At the conclusion of its November meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee chose not to increase the federal funds rate. The Fed's comments gave no definitive signal of when the next increase will come, though it is widely anticipated that the first and only rate hike of 2016 will occur in December. While national job gains have been "solid," according to the Fed, concerns remain about weak GDP growth related to soft business investment.

 

However, housing data continually indicates improving market conditions. The month of September saw:

  • Pending home sales rise 2.4% higher than one year ago;
  • New single-family home sales grow 3.1% from the previous month; and 
  • The share of first-time buyers of existing homes increase to 34%. 

At just a 4.8 months' supply, inventory of new homes for sale remains tight. Meanwhile, multifamily construction spending reached a historic high in September. And in the remodeling industry, NAHB surveys show 14 consecutive quarters of positive market conditions.

–NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz

 

Industry Insights

 

Multifamily Construction Spending Hits Record High

Total private residential construction spending increased to an annual rate of $459.5 billion.

 

Framing Methods for Single-Family Homes

Wood still way ahead of concrete and steel-framed homes in 2015. 

 

Two-Car Garages Most Common in New Homes

But three-car garages are more popular than ever. 

 

Remodeling Market Optimism Strengthens

For 14 consecutive quarters, the majority of remodelers report positive market activity.

 

Home Sales

 

Homeownership Rate Edges Up

Millennials and seniors are driving most of the growth. 

 

Pending Sales Up

Good news for residential construction as the market broadens and demand grows.

 

Financing Sources Shift for New Homes

Growing share of conventional mortgages indicates the market continues to get healthier.

 

New Home Sales – Gains and Headwinds

Builders balance caution and available resources in their efforts to meet expanding demand.

 

First-Time Buyers Step Up

Existing home sales in September increased throughout the U.S., led by gains in the Northeast.

 

FHA Mortgage Share Increased in 2015

New data breaks down the changing makeup of financing sources. 

 

Economic Conditions

 

First Look at the November FOMC Meeting

Fed announces no rate hike "for the time being."

 

Mortgage Rates Tick Up, LTV Ticks Down

Loan-to-value ratio dropped for new homes but stayed the same for existing ones.

 

Personal Spending and Income Rose in September

Bureau of Economic Analysis data indicates worker compensation is growing. 

 

3rd Quarter GDP – Mind the Details

Initial estimates show real GDP grew at twice the annual rate of the previous quarter. 

 

Consumer Confidence Retreated in October

Mixed assessments about employment conditions, and more are saying business conditions are "bad."

 

Home Prices Continued to Climb in August 

Fifteen out of 20 metro areas in the U.S. had positive home price appreciation.