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Home Prices Increase in Second Quarter

Aug. 22, 2017

Home prices across the U.S. are increasing, according to today’s release from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The FHFA House Price Index (HPI) shows home prices jumped 1.6% in the second quarter of 2017.

When comparing second quarter 2017 to that of 2016, home prices rose 6.6%. This was the best year-over-year quarter report increase since the fourth quarter of 2013.

"U.S. house prices rose in most states during the second quarter," said William Doerner, FHFA senior economist, in the release. "New home sales are climbing but, relative to the overall population, they still remain low from a historical perspective. The tight inventory is a major explanation for why house prices have been increasing every quarter over the last six years."

Home prices rose in 48 states and Washington, D.C., between the two quarters. Alaska and West Virginia took a step back. Washington, Colorado and Idaho each saw double-digit increases, with Washington leading the way at 12.4%. The Evergreen State also had the largest metropolitan increase. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett saw home prices increase nearly 16%. Florida and North Carolina were the only East Coast states in the top 10. The Pacific region saw the most change at a more than 2.6% increase during the second quarter.

“Home values affect much in the economy—especially the housing and consumer sectors,” according to Econoday. “Periods of rising home values encourage new construction while periods of soft home prices can damp housing starts.”

– Michael Miller, editorial associate

Custom Home Building Increases

Aug. 21, 2017

Custom single-family home starts are up, according to National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) analysis of census data. During the last four-quarter period ending with the second quarter of this year, custom single-family home starts increased more than 2%. There were 171,000 starts.

Custom building starts, which are not for sale, owner-built and contractor-built homes, totaled 50,000 in the second quarter of 2017, according to NAHB. “As measured on a one-year moving average, the market share of custom-home building in terms of total single-family starts is now 21%, down from a cycle high of 31.5% set during the second quarter of 2009,” said the release.

The financial and housing crisis 10 years ago had an effect on custom building. Housing production slowed at that time, and “the market share of this not-for-sale new housing increased as the number of single-family starts declined.”

NAHB expects the custom home market to have ebbs and flows in the quarters ahead. “Recent declines in market share are due to an acceleration in overall single-family construction,” NAHB concluded.

– Michael Miller, editorial associate

Del. Gov. Signs P3 into Law

Aug. 18, 2017

There is a new law in Delaware aimed at supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs. Gov. John Carney held a signing ceremony of House Bill 226 earlier this week, which restructures the state’s economic development efforts. He also signed incorporation paperwork to create the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.

The public-private partnership (P3) will “leverage private sector resources to enhance business recruitment, promote entrepreneurship and innovation, support workforce development efforts, and produce forward-looking analyses on economic trends to best position Delaware’s economy to grow,” according to the governor’s website.

“By restructuring our economic development efforts, we’re positioning Delaware to create good-paying jobs, build an entrepreneurial ecosystem and ensure that Delaware remains a leading state to do business,” said the governor. The governor’s economic development efforts also created a new Division of Small Business, Development and Tourism to help small businesses and minority-owned businesses, as well. He will co-chair the Delaware Prosperity Partnership board.

“The public-private partnership is a win-win that will make our economy more dynamic, lead to better public policy and equip our workforce with the skills that the new economy demands,” said bill co-sponsor State Sen. Jack Walsh.

To learn more about P3s, search NACM’s eNews and NACM Secured Transaction Services’ Newsmakers.

– Michael Miller, editorial associate

View more Newsmakers here.

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