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Business Outlook Archive


Housing Starts Rise 2.8 Percent in March

Led by a 6 percent rise in single-family starts, nationwide housing production rose 2.8 percent above an upwardly revised February rate of 920,000 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000 units in March, according to newly released figures from HUD and ...


REALTORS® Take Their Message to Nation’s Capitol

Next month REALTORS® will head to Washington, D.C., for the REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo, May 12-17, to promote public policies that protect investment in commercial and residential property and advance the real estate industry and REALTOR® business. Nearly 8,500 REALTORS® ...


Buyers on the Move: Applications Rise for New Home Purchases

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for March 2014 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased by 15 percent relative to the previous month. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns. ...


Buyers Bloom in the Springtime

Daffodils, April showers, robins and a new crop of For Sale signs seem to be working their seasonal magic on home buyers. The latest Fannie Mae survey, conducted in March, reports that the gloominess that shrouded buyers during the bitter winter months ...


In Top Metro Areas, a Relationship Is Found between Income and Home Values

In a recent study, NAHB examines eight key housing statistics from the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). This post takes a closer look at two of those statistics; the median household income and median value of owner-occupied housing units. ...


What New Mortgage Rules Mean for Brokers

As of Jan. 1, 2014, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules and requirements for buying a home and refinancing a mortgage, also known as the “qualified mortgage” or “ability-to-repay” rules, are in effect. There may be a few challenges ahead ...


Mortgage Purchase Applications Dip

Mortgage applications decreased 1.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 4, 2014. ...


Metropolitan Markets Move Forward

The April NAHB/First American Leading Market Index rose one point to .88 from .87 in March. The index measures how close individual markets and the US market are relative to their last normal market activity. A total of 153 markets or about ...


Positive Signs Crop Up Heading into Spring Homebuying Season

Recent month-to-month volatility in the housing market has softened the ongoing recovery. However, the majority of the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey indicators on consumer attitudes have continued to move in a positive direction during the past year, which may portend a ...


Fears about Mortgage Rate Increases Harming the Market Are Unfounded

We see it any time interest rates start creeping up: big, bold news headlines declaring that the housing market is headed for trouble. When rates go up, the doom and gloom and articles in the mainstream media spread like wildfire. These factors ...


Obama Administration Renews Support for Homeless

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan recently announced nearly $1.6 billion in grants to renew support for 7,100 local homeless housing and service programs across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Provided through HUD’s Continuum of Care Program, the funding will ensure these ...


Recovery Spreads: Activity Exceeds Norm in Many Markets

Of the approximately 350 metro markets nationwide, 59 returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity, according to the just-released National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI). This represents a net gain of 11 ...


A Frigid February Catches up to Construction Spending

Total private residential construction spending decreased in February after three consecutive months of growth. The unusually cold winter may have finally caught up to total residential spending and contributed to a slight month-over-month decline. Total private residential construction spending dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $360.4 billion according ...


Fixed Mortgage Rates on Hold

Freddie Mac recently released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates relatively unchanged from last week. ...


Vacation Home Sales Surge in 2013, Investment Property Declines

Vacation home sales rose strongly in 2013, while investment purchases fell below the elevated levels seen in the previous two years, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. ...