U.S. Economic Confidence Ticks Up to -14 in May

May saw the highest weekly confidence reading since JanuaryWASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index increased to -14 in May, its highest monthly reading in 2014 so far. May's economic confidence reading, however, remains significantly below the -7 average found in May 2013, which was the highest monthly average since Gallup began tracking the measure in 2008.

Eye on the Economy: New Home Sales and Starts Post Gains in April

via NAHB:

Housing data for April offered positive news as the traditional spring housing season began with the pace of home building and new home sales increasing for the month.

The monthly rate of housing construction starts exceeded 1 million for first time since last year and housing permits were over 1 million for a third consecutive month. However, the monthly increases were almost entirely in multifamily rental construction. Single-family starts increased 5,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual basis to 649,000 from an upwardly revised March of 635,000.

Housing Affordability Holds Steady in Fourth Quarter

NAHB, WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 - Slightly lower median home prices along with a small uptick in mortgage rates contributed to housing affordability holding steady in the fourth quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), released today.

In all, 64.7 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of October and end of December were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $64,400. This is virtually the same as the 64.5 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the third quarter.

Strong Single-Family Growth will Fuel Housing in 2014

by NAHB, LAS VEGAS, Feb. 4 - Led by a resurgence in single-family production, housing will continue its climb toward higher ground in 2014, but builders are still confronting several challenges that could hinder the pace of the ongoing recovery, according to economists speaking at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders' Show (IBS) in Las Vegas today.

"My single-family forecast for 2014 is pretty aggressive--822,000 starts which is likely 200,000 more than 2013," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "There are five key points to the turnaround. Consumers are back, pent-up demand is emerging, there is a growing need for new construction, distressed sales are diminishing and builders see it."

New-Home Sales Down 7 Percent in December; Up 16.4 Percent for the Year

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 - Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 414,000 units in December, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Despite the monthly drop, home sales in 2013 were up 16.4 percent over the previous year.

Housing Markets Continue to Show Gradual Improvement

Source: NAHB Home - WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 - Markets in 56 out of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), released today. This represents a net gain of two from the previous month. The index's nationwide score of .86 indicates that, based on current permits, prices and employment data, the nationwide average is running at 86 percent of normal economic and housing activity.

"More markets are slowly returning to normal levels and we expect this upward trend to continue as an improving economy and pent-up demand brings more home buyers back into the marketplace," said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. "Policymakers must be careful to avoid actions that would harm consumer confidence and impede the ongoing recovery."

Why 2013 Might be Housing’s Best Year Ever

Source: Real Estate Economy Watch

After nearly a decade of disaster that reached levels of despair not seen since the Great Depression., the year ending today was more than a turnaround year. Within its short life, it changed housing from a liability to an asset so favorable that it had to power to take the rest of the nation’s economy along for its ride upward, in the eyes of the Bernankes and Obamas.

In some ways, it changed the housing economy for years to come. Like a human life, it’s true place in history won’t be known until it is gone and some time has passed, but it will be hard to argue with the hard numbers of what was achieved in 2013.

New-Home Sales Post Solid Numbers in November

NAHB - WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 - Sales of newly built, single-family homes declined 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 464,000 units in November from an upwardly revised strong pace of 474,000 units in the previous month, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Except for October 2013, this is the strongest sales pace since July of 2008.

"This figure is consistent with NAHB's member surveys, which show increasing confidence in the market," said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. "Meanwhile, the very low supply of new homes on the market and tight credit conditions for home buyers show that builders are still cautious about getting ahead of themselves."

New-Home Production Tops 1 Million in November

NAHB -WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 - Led by a solid increase in both single-family and multifamily starts, nationwide housing production rose 22.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million in November, according to figures released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

"This report is in line with our latest survey, which shows that builders are increasingly confident that buyers who have sat on the sidelines are feeling more secure about their economic situation and are now moving to purchase new homes," said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. "This upward trend could be even stronger if not for persistently tight lending conditions for buyers and builders facing rising costs for building materials, lots and labor."

Builder Confidence Rises Four Points in December

NAHB - WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 - Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes improved four points to a 58 reading on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for December, released today. This gain reflected improvement in all three index components - current sales conditions, sales expectations and traffic of prospective buyers.

"This is definitely an encouraging sign as we move into 2014," said National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. "The HMI is up 11 points since December of 2012 and has been above 50 for the past seven months. This indicates that an increasing number of builders have a positive view on where the industry is going."

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