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State & National Updates
Eye on the Economy

Builder Confidence Matches a Post-Recession High

Builder Confidence Matches a Post-Recession High

Last month's surprising dip in housing starts came as inventory remained tight for both new and existing homes. The seasonally adjusted annual pace of single-family starts in August was down 6% from the previous month, although year-to-date totals for single-family construction are still up 9% from this time last year.
Home building is noticeably down in the South, largely due to flooding that affected many areas of the Gulf Coast. Nationwide, multifamily starts declined 5.4% from July to August. Multifamily development has generally been flat, as the rental apartment market finds a balance between supply and demand.
However, despite persistent shortages of lots and labor — July estimates of unfilled construction sector jobs reached 214,000 — home builder confidence is growing stronger. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for September climbed to a level of 65, matching a post-recession high and suggesting a weak August will be followed by growth in permits and starts.

Business Conditions

Builder Confidence Surges in September

Upward momentum expected to built into 2017. 


A High Point for Large, For-Rent Multifamily Buildings

Completions in 50-plus unit buildings have skyrocketed 284% since 2011. 

Building Materials Prices Continue to Climb

Though overall producer prices remain flat, lumber and gypsum rose sharply in August.

Sales and Contract Prices Per Square Foot in 2015

Prices for spec homes in the Pacific and New England regions far exceed the national average. 

Housing Trends

Home Equity Grows Even as Homeownership Declines

Household holdings of real estate in the second quarter totaled $22.29 trillion.

New Single-Family Homes Have More Bedrooms

Share of new homes with four or more bedrooms in 2015 increased to 47%.

Concentration of Large Builders in Metropolitan Markets

Major housing markets have become more concentrated since the trough of the housing crisis.

Economic Insights

Housing Starts Pause in August

Single-family and multifamily posted declines after several months of gains.

Consumer Price Index Posts Strong Gain in August

Rising costs of medical care largely contributed to the increase in core inflation.


Consumer Credit Outstanding: What's Driving Auto Loan Growth?

The soaring auto loan market is drawing the attention of financial regulators.