News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Jonathan Smoke / Hanley Wood / September 20, 2013
Earlier this week the National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales were up in August over July when most economists were expecting a decline. Instead, the pace of sales in August was at the highest level since February 2007. Let me make one more important historical comparison. If we exclude 2002-2006 from our data set because of the abnormal level of activity in the heart of the housing boom, there have only been 5 other months in history (going back to 1968) that existing single-family home sales have been higher: January and February 2007, August and December 2001,Read More
Kris Hudson / The Wall Street Journal / September 18, 2013
Home builders got a double boost on Wednesday from a report of resilient construction of single-family homes in August and the Federal Reserve’s decision to continue efforts to boost the economy and keep interest rates low.
Still, many housing-market observers see signs of a continued slowdown in price increases for new homes and possibly for new-home sales as well.
The Fed’s decision Wednesday afternoon to maintain its quantitative easing program for keeping interest rates low helped push the Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Total Return Index to a 5.9% gain by the end of Wednesday.Read More
The Wall Street Journal / August 11, 2013
The U.S. economic growth outlook has been upgraded to decent from lousy—which, while some distance from good, is likely good enough for the Federal Reserve to pull back on its stimulus later this year.
On the positive side, fears of another downturn are minimal. Economists in the latest Wall Street Journal economic forecasting survey put less than a 15% chance on another recession hitting in the next 12 months.
But at the same time, they put only a 13% chance that growth in gross domestic product this year will be stronger than the long-run average of 3.5%.
The latest GDP data released last monthRead More
Madison Inselmann / Metrostudy / June 28, 2013
Ben Bernanke moved markets with his comments after the recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting when hinting that the Federal Reserve will/may/could/should back off of its $85 billion a month bond buying program. As a result, the stock gyrated wildly like an 7.0 Richter Scale earthquake printout driving a notable jump in interest rates. Similar to the violence of being startled awake from a deep sleep, after a four year monetary policy drumbeat…the market had a mild heart attack as it was shocked from it’s comfort zone.
Of course things have normalized, to a certain degree, as theyRead More
Ylan Q. Mui / The Washington Post / June 26, 2013
The Federal Reserve is becoming concerned that the recent spike in interest rates could disrupt the rebound in the housing market and force the central bank to delay plans to scale back its multibillion-dollar economic stimulus.
The Fed believes the economy eventually will be strong enough to handle a pullback in stimulus, likely in the fourth quarter. But a prolonged rise in interest rates for mortgages and other loans would become a key factor in the central bank’s decision.
Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said last week that the Fed is monitoring these rates but expressed hope that consumer confidenceRead More