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Tag Archives: Housing Starts

Fed’s No. 2: Housing a Factor in ‘Disappointing’ Recovery

Speaking at a conference in Sweden Monday morning, Stanley Fischer, vice chairman of the Fed and former governor of the Bank of Israel, admitted that the global recovery from the recession has been disappointing at best, noting that economic growth among the world's most advanced economies has underperformed compared to previous post-recessionary periods.

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Economists Rein in Housing Outlook

A slower than anticipated first half has killed off any enthusiasm economists had for housing at the start of 2014, a survey published by the Wall Street Journal finds. In the Journal's latest monthly survey, a panel of economic experts called for new housing starts to average a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.01 million this year, a 9 percent decline from their prediction at the beginning of the year.

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Homebuilding Outlays Mixed in June

According to the latest figures released Friday from the U.S. Census new home sales, starts, and spending were down in June and for the first half of the year. Spending on private construction in June came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $685.5 billion, 1 percent below the revised May estimate of $692 billion. Residential construction alone was at $356 billion, which is 0.3 percent below the revised May estimate.

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Freddie Mac Forecast: Less Bitter, More Sweet Ahead

Economic growth so far this year has been "bittersweet" as housing takes a backseat in moving the recovery forward, Freddie Mac said Monday in its July 2014 Economic and Housing Outlook. But with employment bouncing back and household formations expected to improve, all is not last, says Freddie Mac VP and chief economist Frank Nothaft.

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Economic Indicators Improve Despite Drag from Housing

The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index (LEI) edged up 0.3 percent last month to 102.2, flattening out slightly after May's 0.7 percent pickup. Conference Board economist Ataman Oxyildirim attributed the increase to ongoing positive trends in the labor market and an improved outlook for new manufacturing orders, which have helped offset some of the weakness observed in housing so far this year.

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June Housing Starts Down 9.3%

According to a joint report from HUD and the Census Bureau, groundbreaking on new homes was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 893,000, a drop of 9.3 percent below May's revised annual rate of 985,000. Declines came on both sides of the market: Single-family starts came to a rate of 575,000, down 9.0 percent, according to the report, while multifamily starts fell 9.9 percent to a 318,000 rate.

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Builder Confidence Hits Six-Month High

The National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Housing Market Index (HMI) registered a score of 53 in the group's July survey, increasing four points from June. "This is the first time that builder confidence has been above 50 since January and an important sign that it is strengthening as pent-up demand brings more buyers into the marketplace," said NAHB Chair Kevin Kelly.

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Construction Spending Up 0.1% in May

Construction spending edged up 0.1 percent from April to May, though private homebuilding outlays came down slightly. The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that construction spending during May was at an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of $956.1 billion, just up from April's revised estimate of $955.1 billion and 6.6 percent higher than the May 2013 estimate of $896.6 billion.

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Freddie Curbs Expectations in Mid-Year Assessment

Despite a disappointing first quarter and a mediocre second quarter, Freddie Mac still expects the economy to improve throughout the second half of 2014. The company is, however, tempering its New Year's optimism. In its June U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook, released Thursday, Freddie offers a mid-year assessment that sees more humble growth across most sectors.

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Single-Family Starts Decline in May; Permits Pick Up

According to figures released by the Census Bureau and HUD, privately owned housing starts last month were at an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of just more than 1 million, down 6.5 percent from April's slightly revised estimate of 1.07 million. The government's report presented mixed news on the single-family front: While starts were down nearly 6 percent to a rate of 625,000, April construction was stronger than originally reported.

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