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Tag Archives: Homebuilders

Construction Spending Edges Up as Builders Maintain Caution

According to figures released Thursday by the Commerce Department, total construction spending in March bumped up 0.2 percent to an estimated adjusted annual rate of $942.5 billion. Compared to a year prior, March spending was up 8.4 percent. In the private sector, construction spending was put at an estimated rate of $679.6 billion, with residential projects accounting for $369.8 billion of that total.

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Housing Starts Miss Expectations; Permits Fall

Homebuilding across the country lifted slightly in March but still fell short of expectations, while permits for new housing tumbled. According to figures released Wednesday by the Census Bureau and HUD, March housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000, 2.8 percent above February’s revised estimate but below a consensus forecast of 970,000 predicted in a survey of economists.

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Builder Confidence Still Tepid

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported a one-point increase in its monthly Housing Market Index (HMI), a measure of builders’ confidence in the market for newly constructed single-family homes. March’s index was revised down to 46 from an originally reported 47. Registering 47 as of the latest release, the index has now spent three straight months below 50, the threshold between a market viewed largely as “good” and one viewed as “bad.”

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National Recovery Measure Rises to 88%

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) delivered some good news Monday in that 59 of the 350 metro markets have returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity. In the NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), the national average is running at 88 percent, with 11 metros gained year-over-year.

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Does the Labor Market Have What It Takes to Boost Housing?

In its latest Economic and Housing Market Outlook, released Wednesday, Freddie Mac expects home sales to grow along with wages this year, despite a still-tough job market in most sectors. Freddie is projecting a 3 percent rise in home sales and a 20 percent rise in new home construction in 2014, which the agency expects to level out to a 5 percent overall growth.

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Housing Starts Slip Further; Permit Numbers Mixed

According to numbers from the Census Bureau and HUD, privately owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 907,000, down 0.2 percent from January’s revised estimate of 909,000 and 6.4 percent below the February 2013 rate of 969,000. On just the single-family side, builders started work last month at a rate of 583,000 homes per year, 0.3 percent above January’s revised figure.

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Builder Confidence Levels in March

After falling in February to the lowest level in nearly a year, builder confidence barely moved in March, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) revealed in its latest Housing Market Index (HMI). According to the group, the index nudged up one point this month, landing on a reading of 47—still a few points shy of the 50 benchmark that separates a market largely perceived as “bad” from one perceived as “good.”

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February Data Indicates Continued Gains in New Home Sales

Builder application data from February suggests another increase in new home sales, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Thursday. According to MBA’s Builder Applications Survey (BAS), which tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of homebuilders, applications for new home purchases increased 12 percent in February, pointing to a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 533,000 (up 1 percent from January).

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January Construction Spending Beats Forecast

The government’s latest report shows spending on all construction projects was up 0.1 percent from December, coming to an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of $943.1 billion. That figure is 9.3 percent ahead of January 2013’s estimate of $863.1 billion. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.5 percent decline in spending to follow December’s originally reported 0.1 percent improvement.

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Report Weighs Effects of Buyer, Seller Groups on Home Supply

It’s been accepted for the last few years that housing supply hasn’t been able to keep up with demand, contributing to large gains in home prices nationwide—but how do the numbers break down, and how do specific groups of buyers and sellers balance against each other?

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