Job Growth Helps Propel Housing Demand
Despite growing supply-side concerns, housing demand continues to be sustained by healthy job creation and optimistic consumers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 220,000 jobs were created in June, with the unemployment rate increasing slightly to 4.4%. Moreover, home builders and remodelers added almost 116,000 jobs over the last 12 months.
Ongoing job creation has also helped support consumer optimism. The Consumer Confidence Index was up slightly in June, with one submeasure increasing to nearly 33% of respondents indicating jobs are plentiful. Incomes are also rising, with disposable personal income up 2.2% over the last year.
Economic challenges remain anchored on the supply side of the market, with a new softwood anti-dumping duty — in addition to existing countervailing duties — adding to builder costs. Moreover, the share of single-family home builders reporting shortages of framing lumber has increased to 21%.
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NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz
Builders Reporting Shortages of Framing Lumber
Ready-mix concrete and trusses are also increasingly in short supply.
Open Construction Jobs Decline in May
The labor market for construction workers remains tight as home building expands.
Lending and Spending
Residential Fixed Investment Reaches Near-Decade High
Housing's share of GDP holds strong.
Private Residential Construction Spending Declines
The drop in May was the largest in three years.
Mortgage Rates Fall Again
Rates have slipped 18 basis points during the past three months.
Employment Gains Accelerated in June
Over the last year, home builders and remodelers have added 115,600 jobs.
Steady Growth in Personal Income
Disposable income in May had the largest monthly increase in two years.
How a Home Purchase Boosts Consumer Spending
NAHB analysis compares expenditures of new home buyers to non-moving home owners.