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.
Rocio Sanchez-Moyano / Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies / September 26, 2013
With the continued growth of house prices across the country, talk of a housing bubble is beginning to reappear in the headlines. House price-to-income ratios are often used to indicate a bubble, as prices have historically had a relatively stable relationship with incomes (both mean and median). In the US, nationally, the price-to-income ratio remained relatively stable throughout the 1990s. It began to increase around 2000 and surpassed its long-run average of 3.65 by 2002 (Figure 1). The national price-to-income ratio continued to increase in the mid-2000s, reaching a high ofRead More
Jonathan Smoke / Hanley Wood / September 25, 2013
The headline from the Commerce Department report on new home sales this morning was that August delivered a 7.9% increase over July. The Commerce Department numbers for August surprised analysts just like the existing home sales data last week because it seems that many folks have bought into the idea that rising interest rates are choking off the nascent housing recovery. Once again I stand by the opinion that no conclusive data exist that show we are seeing sales decline. The only declines we are seeing consistently are typical seasonal declines in activity.
Our more detailed insightsRead More
Robert Dietz / NAHB / September 23, 2013
While the sources of finance for new home sales have changed noticeably since the start of the Great Recession, cash sales remain more common for existing homes compared to new construction.
According to data from the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Sales by Price and Financing, the onset of the housing crisis in 2007 led to a decline in the share of new home sales due to conventional mortgage financing and increases in the shares due to mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA), as well as cash purchases.
For the second quarterRead More
Joshua J. Miller / NAHB / September 20, 2013
According to a recent report by the Census, married couples with children account for only 19.6% of all households in the U.S. The new figure represents a drop of 4.5 percentage points from 2000 when 24.1% of all households in the U.S. were married couples with children. The share of total households in 1970 was 40.3%.
As the share of households that include married couples with children decreased, one-person households and other household types rose. The share of one-person households increased from 17.1% in 1970 to 27.5% in 2012.
The dramatic decline in married households with childrenRead More
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