Friday, December 27, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/27/13


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/27/13 on the Web.


In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • November new home sales dip from October but still up 16.6 percent year over year
  • FHFA House Price Index rose by 0.5 percent in October
  • Mortgage applications dip 6.3 percent in latest survey
  • Initial unemployment claims fall by 42,000 in latest report
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/24/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/24/13 on the Web.  Please note that BuilderBytes will now be published on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Consumer confidence rebounds for some in December
  • 3Q GDP rose by 4.1 percent in third and final estimate
  • Personal income and spending both rose in November
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, December 20, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/20/13


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/20/13 on the Web.


In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Existing home sales dipped while prices continued to rise in November
  • Leading Economic Index continued to rise in November
  • 3Q GDP growth estimates rises sharply to 3.6 percent in second quarter
  • Philadelphia Fed's Business Outlook Survey for December shows continuing growth
  • Initial unemployment claims rise by 10,000 in latest report
  • Federal Reserve to taper quantitative easing but holds firm on forward guidance on rate hikes
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/17/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/17/13 on the Web.  Please note that BuilderBytes will now be published on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Productivity rose the most in nearly four years in 3Q 2013
  • Empire State Manufacturing Survey suggests flat conditions in December
  • Industrial production rose 1.1 percent in November after being flat in October
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, December 13, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/13/13


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/13/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Retail sales rose solidly in November
  • Business inventories rose in October at fastest pace in nine months
  • Initial unemployment claims rise by 68,000 in latest report, but labor market still gaining strength
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December column for Builder & Developer magazine now online


My column for the December 2013 issue of Builder & Developer magazine is now posted online.
For this issue, entitled "The Rebound Enters Adolescence" I reviewed what happened with the economy and the housing market in 2013 and what to expect in the year ahead.
An excerpt:
A year ago, I wrote about the excitement of a housing rebound that finally seemed to have legs, with all relevant indices showing positive growth. Today, despite numerous economic and political headwinds that have been regularly buffeting the demand for new homes, I think it’s safe to say that the rebound is here to stay, but is transitioning into the next stage which will likely face steeper interest rates, tighter lending standards and higher building costs...
To read the entire column, click here.

To read the entire December 2013 issue in digital format, click here.

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/12/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/12/13 on the Web.  Please note that BuilderBytes will now be published on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Wholesale inventories rose more than expected in October
  • October job openings little changed from September
  • Mortgage applications rise by 1.0 percent in latest survey
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/10/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/10/13 on the Web.  Please note that BuilderBytes will now be published on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • November unemployment rate falls to 7.0 percent as monthly job growth passes 200,000
  • Consumer sentiment surges in December as job prospects improve
  • Consumer credit rose at the highest rate in five months in October, beating forecasts
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, December 6, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/6/13


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/6/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • 3Q 2013 GDP growth jumps to 3.6 percent in second estimate
  • Federal Reserve report shows continuing but moderate economic growth
  • November job cuts virtually unchanged from October
  • October decline in factory orders in line with expectations
  • Initial unemployment claims fall by 23,000 in latest report
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 12/3/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 12/3/13 on the Web.  Please note that BuilderBytes will now be published on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Construction spending rose 0.8 percent in October, up by 5.3 percent over last year
  • Leading Economic Index rose for fourth straight month in October
  • Consumer confidence dipped in October; respondents view government as economic obstacle
  • Chicago Business Barometer softened in November following October's sharp rise
  • Durable goods orders drop two percent in October following September's four-percent gain
  • Initial unemployment claims fall by 10,000 in latest report
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 11/27/13


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 11/27/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Building permits in October rise to five-year high
  • Case-Shiller Home Price Index rose by 3.2 percent in 3Q 2013
  • FHFA House Price Index rose 2.0 percent in 3Q 2013
  • Consumer confidence dips again in November
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 11/26/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 11/26/13 on the Web.  Please note that BuilderBytes will now be published on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Pending home sales slip for fifth straight month
  • Job openings little changed between August and September
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, November 22, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 11/21/13


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 11/21/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Producer Price Index declined by 0.2 percent in October
  • Federal Reserve may start scaling back asset purchases as economy improves
  • Initial unemployment claims fall by 21,000 in latest report
  • Philadelphia Fed's Outlook Survey shows slower growth in November
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 11/21/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 11/21/13 on the Web.  Please note that BuilderBytes will now be published on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Existing home sales dipped by 3.2 percent in October; prices continued to rise
  • Retail sales in October higher than forecast
  • CPI fell by 0.1 percent in October; down by 1.0 percent over previous 12 months
  • Business inventories rose more than expected in September
  • Overall mortgage applications fall by 2.3 percent in latest survey but purchase loans up by 6 percent
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 11/19/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 11/19/13 on the Web.  Please note that BuilderBytes will now be published on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:

  • Builder confidence remains unchanged in November at 54
  • Industrial production and capacity utilization both edged down in October
  • Wholesale sales and inventories both edged up in September
  • Empire State Manufacturing Survey edges down in November but future optimism continues
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

2013 in Review

A year ago, I wrote about the excitement of a housing rebound that finally seemed to have legs, with all relevant indices showing positive growth.  Today, despite numerous economic and political headwinds that have been regularly buffeting the demand for new homes, I think it’s safe to say that the rebound is here to stay, but is transitioning into the next stage which will likely face steeper interest rates, tighter lending standards and higher building costs.

For the month of August 2013, seasonally adjusted annual new home sales rose by 7.9 percent over July totals to 421,000 units, and are up by 12.6 percent year-over-year.  At the same time, however, median sales prices rose by just 0.55 percent over the last year, while inventory rose from 4.6 to 5.0 months.  While the relatively tight inventory levels can be traced mostly to negative equity, fewer distressed sales and a depressed supply of new construction, the combination of higher interest rates and slumping consumer confidence is certainly contributing to a potential but temporary pull-back in activity.

According to the most recent outlook from Freddie Mac, we should expect the housing recovery to take some time, especially since the economy won’t be running at its full potential until after 2015.  Nonetheless, their chief economist notes that the market should continue to absorb these economic shocks and improve further in 2014, with 1.15 million new housing units added to the existing stock.

Builder confidence, which had climbed to 58 last August on the NAHB Housing Market Index (HMI), has since settled back to 54.  This recent dip has been largely attributed to the cost and availability of labor and buildable lots, as well as ongoing political uncertainty in Washington.  Still, according to the newly minted NAHB/First American Leading Market Index (LMI), 52 of the 350 metro areas tracked regularly have returned to or exceeded pre-recessionary levels of activity.  With a score of .85 in October based on current permits, prices and employment data, the national housing market is thus operating at 85 percent of normal capacity.

That improvement is also due to builders continuing to pull more permits and start more homes.  In August 2013, they pulled a seasonally adjusted annual total of 918,000 permits, which was down 3.8 percent from July but 11 percent higher than the same month of 2012.  Housing starts totaled 891,000 units per year in August, for an increase of just 0.9 percent since July but up by 19 percent over the last year.

For builders, however, there is definitely a concern about future profit margins, mostly due to these higher costs for materials, labor and especially land.  The Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index, which tracks major public builders, has also taken notice, declining by over 20 percent since last peaking at in May 2013.  Nonetheless, there is still enough confidence in the rebound for Toll Bros. to recently snap up California’s Shapell Industries and its 5,200 lots for $1.6 billion as well as for TRI Pointe Homes’ $2.7 billion merger with Weyerhauser’s own homebuilding business, which gives it access to 27,000 lots sold under brands including Pardee, Winchester and Trendmaker Homes.
After hitting the highest level in nearly four years during August, existing home sales fell for the second consecutive month in October to an annual rate of 5.12 million units. Even with this pullback, these sales have remained above year-ago levels for the last 28 months, with monthly sales totals up by 6.0 percent over October 2012.  With just 14 percent of distressed sales in the mix, sales prices rose for the 11th consecutive month to $199,500, up 12.8 percent over the past year.
  
However, one important consequence of these rising prices has been lower affordability, which has fallen to a five-year low as home price gains have easily outpaced income growth.  According to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), 64.5 percent of potential homebuyers nationwide could afford the median-priced home during the third quarter of 2013 -- up substantially from the last trough of 40.4 noted in the same quarter of 2006 but down 13 percentage points from the first quarter of 2012.

Still, for the 49 percent of buyers paying cash in September – at least according to RealtyTrac – rising interest rates aren’t relevant, especially for the institutional funds which have invested up to $20 billion for over 200,000 homes added to the nation’s rental stock.  What remains to be seen is what happens when the low-hanging fruit has been picked off and these deals no longer pencil.

Indeed, may we continue to live in interesting times.

Apologies for our temporary absence

Due to an issue with Google about renewing the domain for Housing Chronicles, the site was temporarily disabled.  This has now been fixed.  Thanks for reading!


Monday, November 18, 2013

November column for Builder & Developer magazine now online

My column for the November 2013 issue of Builder & Developer magazine is now posted online.

For this issue, entitled "GOP-Centered Building Industry Update," I wanted to tackle the question of why the building industry is so wedded financially to the Republican Party when (a) the favor is not necessarily returned; and (b) an increasingly diverse pool of new home buyers doesn't support the party's policies. It's a huge disconnect and a potential PR issue in the future.  An excerpt:
In the 2012 campaigns, just over three quarters of the NAHB’s BuildPac funds went to the GOP – far higher than the 55 percent from the National Association of Realtors or the 57 percent from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Looking ahead to the 2014 elections, while the GOP money lead from BuildPac has shrunk to 67 percent, it’s still far higher than the 48 percent planned by the NAR...

By 2043, the Census Bureau estimates that the country will no longer be a white-majority country, fueled today by significantly higher birth rates among multi-racial couples, Asians and Hispanic immigrants...

So why is this important? Because the GOP has a substantial image problem among minority voters, with just 11 percent of non-white voters declaring allegiance to the Republican party as of mid-2012. And when the NAHB’s primary PAC is still targeting two-thirds of its funds towards Republican candidates, it’s hard to ignore this huge political disconnect between supplier and buyer.
To read the entire column, click here.

To read the entire November 2013 issue in digital format, click here.

Friday, November 15, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 11/15/13


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 11/15/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Productivity rose by 1.9 percent in third quarter 2013
  • Initial unemployment claims fall by 2,000 in latest report
  • Trade deficit widened in September
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 11/14/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 11/14/13 on the Web.  Please note that BuilderBytes will now be published on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:

  • Mortgage loan applications fall by 1.9 percent in latest survey
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 11/12/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 11/12/13 on the Web.  Please note that BuilderBytes will now be published on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Employment rose by 204,000 in October; unemployment rate mostly unchanged at 7.3 percent
  • Consumer confidence unexpectedly dips in November
  • Consumer credit rose more than expected in September
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, November 8, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 11/08/13


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 11/08/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Third quarter GDP grew at 2.8 percent rate in first estimate
  • Initial unemployment claims fall by 9,000 in latest report
  • Mortgage loan applications decline by 7 percent in latest survey
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 11/7/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 11/7/13 on the Web.  Please note that BuilderBytes will now be published on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Leading Economic Index rose again in September
  • Service sector economy continues to grow but impacted by government shutdown
  • Planned job cuts rise 13.5 percent in October
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 11/5/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 11/5/13 on the Web.  Please note that BuilderBytes will now be published on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • FOMC decides to continue quantitative easing
  • Initial unemployment claims dip by 10,000 in latest report
  • Chicago Business Barometer rose in October to highest level since March 2011
  • Manufacturing sector economy expanded in October for fifth straight month
  • Factory orders rose 1.7 percent in September
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, November 1, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 11/01/13



Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 11/01/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Private sector employment grew by 130,000 jobs in October; previous month total revised down to 145,000
  • Business inventories rose in August, supporting third quarter growth
  • Consumer Price Index rose as projected in September as inflation remains low
  • Mortgage applications jumped 6.4 percent in latest survey
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/30/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/30/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Case-Shiller Home Price Indices leap by 12.8 percent year-over-year in August
  • Pending home sales fall four fourth straight month in September
  • Consumer confidence decreased sharply in October due to government shutdown
  • Most retail sales outside of auto dealers rose in September
  • Industrial production continued to rise by 0.6 percent in September
  • Producer Price Index dipped slightly in September but mostly flat over last 12 months
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Monday, October 28, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/28/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/28/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Consumer confidence dips in October as faith in government falls
  • Durable goods orders fall 1.1 percent in September due to political stalemate
  • Wholesale inventories rose in August by highest level in seven months on stronger demand 
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, October 25, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/25/13


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/25/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • FHFA House Price Index increase dips to 0.3 percent in August
  • Initial unemployment claims fall by 12,000 in latest report
  • Level of job openings little changed from July to August
  • Mortgage applications dip by 0.6 percent in latest survey
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/23/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/23/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicator:
  • Existing home sales declined in September but prices still rose
  • Employment rose by 148,000 in September as unemployment rate was little changed at 7.2 percent
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Is the GOP-Centered Building Industry Stuck in the Past?

As I write this column today without loyalty to any political party, the federal government has finally began creaking back to life after being held hostage for 16 days by a Congress seemingly out of touch with the country’s unique role in the global economy.  Not surprisingly, this same Congress earned an approval rating of 11 percent from a poll taken immediately after the shutdown during the early days of October.

While the same poll showed Republicans with an approval rating of 28 percent (down 10 percentage points from the previous month), Democrats also took a four-point hit, with their approval rating edging down to 43 percent.  Poll respondents also showed 62 percent of them disapproving of Republicans, while Democrats split the country more evenly at 49 percent.  Recent figures on the economic damage from the temporary closure have been estimated at $24 billion, and fourth quarter GDP growth estimates have been cut from 3.0 to 2.4 percent.

I only mention these figures because I’ve always been interested in the long-standing connection between the building industry and GOP even when their policies – especially at the national level -- didn’t necessarily coincide with the best interests of the housing market. To be sure, at the local level it certainly makes sense for builders to support politicians who share their goal of making it easier to develop new communities for growing populations, but on the national political stage it’s a far different story.

In the 2012 campaigns, just over three-quarters of the NAHB’s BuildPac funds went to the GOP – far higher than the 55 percent from the National Association of Realtors or the 57 percent from the Mortgage Bankers Association.  Looking ahead to the 2014 elections, while the GOP money lead from BuildPac has shrunk to 67 percent, it’s still far higher than the 48 percent planned by the NAR.

So just what is our industry getting for all of this money?  It’s a fair question:  Remember the $787 billion stimulus package that President Obama wanted to pass shortly after his inauguration?  It passed without a single Republican vote in the House, and just three in the Senate.   Soon thereafter, a separate law to allow judges the freedom to modify mortgages on primary residences to prevent a cascade of foreclosures was also rejected by most Republican legislators.  Meanwhile, GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s plan for the housing market was both clear and simple:  let an unfettered free market sort everything out on its own, even though 83 percent of the sub-prime loans which tanked the housing market were made by mostly unscrupulous private firms.

But this concern isn’t just about money:  it’s just as much about demographics.  While the country continues to become increasingly diverse along racial, ethnic and religious lines, the management of building companies looks much like it has in the past:  white, middle-aged (with a median age of 54 in 2011 according to a NAHB membership survey), 93 percent male and, given the historic connection with the GOP, with what I assume are traditional values handed down from previous generations.

For the overall construction and extraction industries, however, it’s a different story: while over 97 percent of these jobs were still held by men, less than 10 percent of them were Caucasian alone, while nearly 16 percent were Hispanic, 5.7 percent were African American and 2.6 percent were Asian.  It’s an even larger contrast with the general U.S. population, which as of July 2012 was 77 percent Caucasian, 17 percent Hispanic, 13 percent African American, 5.1 percent Asian and 2.3 percent two or more races.

By 2043, the Census Bureau estimates that the country will no longer be a white-majority country, fueled today by significantly higher birth rates among multi-racial couples, Asians and Hispanic immigrants.  About 11 percent of the country’s counties are currently “majority-minority” across the southwest, southeast and northeast.  As soon as next year, a majority of children nationally under age five will be of non-Caucasian descent.

So why is this important?  Because the GOP has a substantial image problem among minority voters, with just 11 percent of non-white voters declaring allegiance to the Republican party as of mid-2012.  And when the NAHB’s primary PAC is still targeting two-thirds of its funds towards Republican candidates, it’s hard to ignore this huge political disconnect between supplier and buyer.

Sure, you could always hire consultants to tell you how to market to specific minority groups, but wouldn’t it be more practical for this industry to better mirror the general population?

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/18/13


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/18/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Builder confidence dips two points in October due to higher rates and government shutdown
  • Initial unemployment claims fall by 15,000 in latest report
  • Philadelphia Fed's Business Outlook Survey shows continued growth in October
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/16/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/16/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicator:
  • Empire State Manufacturing Survey holds steady in October among mixed signals
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Monday, October 14, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/14/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/14/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicator:

  • Consumer confidence drops to nine-month low due to federal government shutdown
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, October 11, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/11/13


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/11/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • 52 housing markets have now returned to or exceeded pre-recessionary levels
  • Consumer credit rose in August but credit card use declining
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/9/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/9/13 on the Web.
In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:

  • 52 housing markets have now returned to or exceeded pre-recessionary levels
  • Consumer credit rose in August but credit card use declining
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Monday, October 7, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/7/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/7/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:

  • Mortgage loan applications dip by 0.4 percent but refinances rise by 3 percent in latest report
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, October 4, 2013

No federal government data until further notice!

Due to the ongoing federal government shutdown, all data releases related to the national labor market, unemployment claims, new home sales, building permits, housing starts, etc. will be unavailable in the MetroIntelligence Economic Update portion of BuilderBytes.

When the government resumes its normal activities, all retroactive reports will be reported on this blog and in BuilderBytes.

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/4/13


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/4/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Private sector jobs rose by 166,000 in September; August gains revised downwards
  • Planned job cuts dip to lowest level in three months on September
  • Initial unemployment claims rose by 1,000 in latest report
  • Service sector economy continued to grow in September but at a slower rate
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/2/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/2/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Construction spending rose to four-year high in July
  • Manufacturing sector expanded for fourth straight month in September
  • Chicago PMI rose by 2.7 points in September even as employment declined
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Monday, September 30, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 9/30/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 9/30/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Consumer confidence dips to lowest level since April
  • Personal incomes, spending and savings all rose in August
  • Mortgage loan applications rose by 5.5 percent in latest survey as rates dip slightly
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, September 27, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 9/27/13


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 9/27/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • New home sales rose in August but still subdued due to higher interest rates
  • Pending home sales eased in August but still 5.8 percent above same month of 2012
  • U.S. GDP grew by 2.5 percent during 2Q 2013 in third estimate
  • Initial unemployment claims decline by 5,000 in latest report
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 9/25/13

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 9/25/13 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Case Shiller Indices rose for fourth straight month in July
  • FHFA House Price Index rose for 18th straight month in July
  • Consumer confidence dipped in September as short-term job outlook sours
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.