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State & National Updates
Tight Inventory and Rising Costs

A strong month for home sales in March reinforced the trend of positive housing demand.

Tight Inventory and Rising Costs

 

A strong month for home sales in March reinforced the trend of positive housing demand. Sales of new single-family homes grew 15.6% from a year prior, and 5.8% above the previous month's mark—a noteworthy gain, considering February's sales benefitted from the unseasonably warm weather.

March was also an encouraging month for the existing homes market, which saw sales rise 4.4% to its highest pace in 10 years. Inventory of existing homes for sale remains very tight, standing at only a 3.8 months' supply. This is a primary reason why the increases of home prices continue to outpace growth in household incomes.

However, supply-side costs remain on the rise as builders continue reporting scarce availability of labor and lots. And the announcement of an effective 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber could have a significant, negative impact on construction jobs and wages. One-third of the softwood lumber consumed in the U.S. is imported, about 95% of which comes from Canada.

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz


Sales


March Sales Roar Like a Lion

The surge led to the fastest pace in 10 years.


Pending Sales Pause

The number of signed contracts in March still exceeded the level from a year ago.


House Prices Surpass Pre-Recession Peak

All 20 metro areas had positive home appreciation.

 

Construction


Duty on Canadian Lumber Will Have Significant Impacts

Thousands of U.S. jobs and hundreds of millions in wages will be lost.


Post-Recession High for Residential Construction Spending

Both multifamily and home improvements experienced big gains in March.


Poll Examines Career Motivations of Young Adults

Most know what they want, but very few say it's a job in construction.


Lending


Cash Sales Dwindle for New Homes

The current share of FHA-backed loans is twice the size of its pre-recession average.


Mortgage Rates Tick Down in March

The decline comes after four consecutive months of increases.


Declining Activity for USDA Single-Family Programs

NAHB study explores the trends of USDA home loans over the past decade.


Economic Indicators


GDP Growth Slows in the 1st Quarter

A second-quarter rebound is a strong possibility.


Homeownership Rate on Stable Ground

Levels increased slightly in every age group.


Consumer Confidence Declined in April

A less-favorable outlook comes after a record-setting month for optimism.


Remodelers Report Broad-Based Confidence

Sentiments about market conditions are the most positive since 2015.