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Business Outlook Archive


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®. ...


February Pending Home Sales Continue Slide

Pending home sales declined for the eighth straight month in February, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Modest increases in the Midwest and West were offset by declines in the Northeast and South; all regions ...


New-Home Sales Continue to Level in February

Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 units in February, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. ...


What do San Jose and Washington D.C. have in Common?

There are few surprises in Gallup’s new survey results ranking the markets with the greatest economic confidence levels. Did you guess the home towns of Silicon Valley and the federal government would lead the list? ...


Homeowner Vacancy Rates Vary Across Top Metros

In a recent study, NAHB examines eight key housing statistics from the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). This post takes a closer look at one of those statistics; the homeowner vacancy rate. ...


HUD Seeks Input on Section 8 Guide, Reveals Policy Priorities

Right now across the U.S., private landlords manage approximately 3.1 million low-income households. So those many landlords and property managers should take a few moments to learn about a couple of significant recent announcements from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development about its Section 8 program. ...


Florida’s Housing Market Shows Rising Prices in February 2014

Regional Spotlight—Florida’s housing market reported higher median prices, more new listings, fewer days on the market and a stable level of inventory in February, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 15,826 last month, up 1.5 percent over the February ...


February Existing-Home Sales Remain Subdued

Home prices continued to show solid growth in most of the country due to limited inventory conditions, but rising prices and severe winter weather caused existing-home sales to slip in February, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. ...


How Will the Winding Down of Fannie and Freddie Affect Homebuyers?

A bipartisan proposal seeks to wind down mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and completely overhaul the nation’s mortgage system. According to Don Frommeyer, CRMS, President of NAMB (The Association of Mortgage Professionals), “A change in the mortgage system will be ...


Housing Starts Hold Steady in February

Nationwide housing starts were virtually unchanged in February, inching down 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 907,000 units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau. ...


The Plight of Today’s First-Time Buyer

Traditionally, first-time buyers are the pillars of a strong home-purchase market. However, today's industry reveals that current market dynamics may be making it difficult for them to achieve their American dream, potentially leading to a slowdown of the industry's recovery. ...


Builder Confidence on the Rise in March

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built, single-family homes rose one point to 47 on the recently released National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). ...


The Future of the Housing Finance System

The future of the housing finance system is a key issue for the housing industry as well as the economic makeup of the middle class, given the importance that housing wealth and access to rental housing plays in our economy. These factors ...