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State & National Updates Archives for 2016-11

Labor 

 

In Victory for NAHB, Federal Judge Blocks Overtime Rule

Dec. 1 effective date pushed back until a final court ruling is made.

 

Economics

 

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Raise Conforming Loan Limits in 2017

This is the first increase since 2006.

 

New Home Sales Down 1.9% in October

Still, sales have been trending upward since last year.

 


Rules & Regulations

 

Businesses Get Ready: Overtime Rule Kicks in Dec. 1

In 10 days, the overtime salary threshold will double from $23,660 to $47,476.

 

NAHB's Legal Victory Blocks 'Persuader' Rule

Measure would discourage employers from seeking legal advice on union concerns.

 

Inside Washington

 

No Quick Fix for Builders as Trump Administration Takes Shape

NAHB hard at work to ensure its members' concerns are met in the post-Obama era.

 

NAHB Chair to Congress: Appraisal System Needs Fixing

Ed Brady outlines solutions to reform appraisal practices and oversight.

 

BUILD-PAC Runs a Winning Campaign

On election day, 95% of PAC-supported candidates won their races.

 

FHA Fund Rises Again

However, HUD officials signal no sign of a premium cut.

 

Business Matters

 

Which Green Infrastructure Techniques Do You Use?

Take this quick poll for a chance to win a $100 prize. 

 

Housing Starts Jump 25.5% in October

Single- and multifamily production post strong gains.

 

Apartment, Condominium Market Sees 3rd Quarter Gains

Overall, multifamily developers remain positive about the market.

 

Building Codes Voting Extended Through Nov. 27

One more week to "phone a friend" for a more cost-effective IRC, energy code.

 


Economic Impact of Trump's Victory

President-elect Donald Trump will undoubtedly have a profound and lasting impact on economic policy throughout his presidency. Costly business regulations are likely to be reduced or rolled back; rate-reducing, base-broadening, comprehensive tax reform will be under active consideration; and the leadership of the Federal Reserve will change in 2018.

 

The nation's low unemployment is placing pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise short-term interest rates, and those rates will influence many future policy decisions. The incoming Administration, in cooperation with a Republican-controlled Congress, will likely pursue policy that will boost GDP growth in the short run. However, if policy changes result in a growing deficit or overheating labor markets, interest rates will rise (faster) in response. Moreover, any policy changes that restrict trade will act as a drag on economic growth.

 

Interest rates are sure to grow in the years ahead. Smart policy is needed to identify economic efficiencies that will help limit how quickly those rate increases accelerate, thereby supporting housing affordability and improving business lending conditions in the longer term. 

–NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz

 

Employment

 

Construction Job Openings Continue to Rise

Access to labor remains a top business challenge for builders.

 

Employment Situation in October – No Surprise

Solid labor market report might convince the Fed to raise interest rates next month. 

 

Lending

 

Past-Due Mortgages at a Post-Recession Low

Share of delinquent loans has fallen significantly from its peak set in 2010.

 

Non-Mortgage Consumer Debt Accelerates

Both revolving and non-revolving credit are on the rise.

 

Mortgage Market Dynamics Largely Improve

Majority of loan officers report easing lending standards. 

 

Sales

 

Housing Affordability Edges Lower

Home prices appreciate enough to offset a small decline of interest rates.

 

Economic Recovery Continues, but Variations Persist

Solid gains for home prices, while permits in most markets are lagging. 

 

Strong 3rd Quarter for 55+ Housing Market

Builders report continued confidence despite declining production and demand.

 

Trends

 

Two-Thirds of New Homes in New England Include Decks

Among all U.S. homes started in 2015, 64% included porches and 23% included decks.

 

Big Decline of New High-End Homes in 2015

Number of new homes for sale priced at more than $1 million dropped nearly 50% from the previous year.

 


What does the GOP Sweep Mean for Housing?

2016 Elections


What Does the GOP Sweep Mean for Housing?

Read NAHB's analysis for a more detailed look at the results.


Trump Announces 'Most Likely' Supreme Court Nominees

His pick will break a 4-4 ideological split.


Codes & Regulations


FEMA Provides Early Notice of 2017 Rate Hikes

Average flood insurance policies to rise 5.4%.


Online Codes Voting Underway

Help keep codes affordable with one quick call.


Economics


Housing Affordability Edges Lower in 3rd Quarter

Home price appreciation offsets a small decline in mortgage rates.


Recovery Continues at Modest Pace

Nearly half of markets are back to normal levels of housing and economic activity.


First Look at This Week's Housing News

Codes & Regulations


NAHB Challenges Flawed WOTUS Rule

First brief filed before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.


A Call to Action as the Online Voting Process Begins

Members need to call their building code officials and send them this voting guide. 

 

Where Do Your Impact Fees Really Go?

Misued impact fees can add up to millions of dollars.


New Clarity for Wetlands Permits

Guidance letter focuses on jurisdictional determinations.
 


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.