Category Archives: Economic Data

Economic Update: Housing Starts

Housing starts dropped 10.6% in April, to an annual rate of 523,000 from an upwardly revised 585,000 in March. The consensus was for 570,000 starts.  Starts are down 12.8% from April 2010, when the tax rebate program was in full swing. Single-family starts dropped 5.1% to 394,000, while multi-family plunged 28.3% to 114,000. Starts rose […]

Continued Challenges for the U.S. Market: FHFA House Price Index Declines in Feb.

The 1.6% decline in the February FHFA House Price Index indicates that home prices will remain weak. This will likely have a negative effect on the U.S. housing market and the performance of the underlying collateral in U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities. The amount of shadow inventory (which S&P defines as outstanding properties whose borrowers are […]

Will spring selling season confirm improved new home sales?

Takeaway: Home sales are up 11% in March versus February, but they are still low historically. I think there still is a low level of conviction that a housing recovery is underway. Whether you look at the most recently published data from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, or government data on housing starts and new […]

Does anyone want to buy a house any more?

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications fell 5.6% last week while the US Census Bureau reports that home ownership slipped again in the first quarter of the year to 66.4% compared to peak of 69.2% in the 2004 fourth quarter. Is it possible that the housing bust has convinced some people that owning […]

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