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Tag Archives: National Association of Home Builders

Housing Permits Drop as Starts Increase in April

Housing permits dipped in April for the first time in four months, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported jointly Wednesday but housing starts improved. Both indicators remained far above year-earlier levels. The month-over-month increase in starts in April appeared still larger because of a downward revision to March's report. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected permits to drop month-over-month and starts to increase over the same time.

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Builder Confidence Reaches Five-Year High in May

Builder confidence jumped five points in in May to 29, its highest level since the same month in 2007, the National Association of Home Builders said Tuesday. Economists had expected the index to edge up to 26 in May. The month-over-month increase was the largest since April 2009. The total index in May was up 13 points from May 2011, the strongest year-over-year gain since April 2004. All three components of the index ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô current sales, sales six months out and buyer traffic ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô showed strong increases in May.

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Remodeling Stayed Flat During First Quarter: NAHB

Remodeling activity fell flat during the first quarter this year, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The trade group recently released a Remodeling Market Index that found remodeling activity dropping to 47 from 48 over the last quarter. Anything below 50 for the index indicates that more remodelers say that market activity is less than high. The index climbed down by one point to 49 over the first quarter, with future indicators of remodeling business down two points to 44. Three components shifted differently.

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Green Homes Could Account for Nearly 40% of Construction by 2016

The residential construction market could tilt toward green homes if today's preferences persist, with one recent study estimating that energy-efficient residences could account for anywhere from 29 percent to 38 percent of the playing field by 2016. Unveiling the report at a homebuilders' conference Tuesday, McGraw-Hill Construction estimated that green homes amounted to 17 percent of the construction market last year. The study said that green homes could represent anywhere from $87 billion to $114 billion in gains to be had by the construction industry.

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Twenty-Four Groups Call on CFPB to Make QM Rule Safer

Twenty-four trade groups and associations signed off on a comment letter Friday that calls on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to give creditors more legal leeway when it comes to Qualified Mortgages. The two-page letter ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô headed up by the American Bankers Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Home Builders, and National Association of Realtors, among others ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô framed forthcoming rules around credit availability and sound home loans. Influential trade groups continue to criticize the rule.

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Budget Hearing Spotlights Concerns With FHA, GSEs

Talk of reform for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration featured prominently at a hearing convened by the Senate Banking Committee Thursday to address HUD├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós budget for the next fiscal year. The FHA has fallen under scrutiny in recent years over an inability to meet the 2 percent capital ratio buffer required by law. GSE also reform remains a dead issue this election year, despite numerous proposals for reform from lawmakers and public outcry over more than $180 billion in taxpayer funds sunken into conservatorship.

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Multifamily Surge Leads Housing Permits to Four-Year High

Housing permits surged another 4.5 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 747,000, the highest level since September 2008, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported jointly Tuesday. At the same time though, housing starts fell for the third time in the last four months to the lowest level since last October. March housing starts were reported at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000 compared with 694,000 in February. Starts have been flat for the past three years.

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Builder Confidence Dips as Home Buying Season Begins

Builder confidence fell three points in April to 25, matching the lowest point of the year, the National Association of Home Builders said Monday. The month-over-month decline was the first since last September. All three components of the index ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô current sales, sales six months out and buyer traffic ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô fell in April, with buyer traffic slipping to a four month low. The builder assessment of present home sales conditions dropped three points to 26. The outlook for home sales in the next six months also fell three points to 32.

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Experts: GSE Reform Unlikely Until After 2012 Election

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac entered federal conservatorship in 2008, as lawmakers and presidents stepped in to stymie a freefall for the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós largest mortgage companies, just as words like subprime and systemically important institutions gained traction for the public. Four years and roughly $180 billion in taxpayer funds later, old hands, regulators, and freshman lawmakers alike struggle with a vexing riddle. How can a system polarized by politics safely shrink companies responsible for more than $11 trillion in mortgages without blowing the recovery ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and what will it mean for mortgage finance?

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Higher Mortgage Rates Unlikely to Drown Housing: Group

The potential for a lift in mortgage rates is unlikely to spell trouble for the housing recovery, according to a recent report. Paul Diggle, a property economist with Capital Economics, said in a note Monday that still-low home prices will help cushion the blow from interest rates. Mortgage rates continue to linger near record lows, with 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages hovering at or below 4 percent for the past several weeks. Waning confidence in Europe├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós ability to halt the debt crisis in Greece drives investors to U.S. Treasury debt.

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