After declines for six consecutive quarters, the home building component of gross domestic product (GDP) increased during the third quarter of 2019. This gain was due to the housing rebound that has taken hold since the spring, with the pace of single-family permits rising since April and the rate of single-family starts increasing since May.
The overall housing share of GDP increased to 14.6% during the third quarter, as GDP growth slowed to a 1.9% rate. The home building and remodeling component – residential fixed investment – increased modestly to 3.11% of total GDP and added 0.18 basis points to the headline GDP growth rate.
Housing-related activities contribute to GDP in two basic ways.
The first is through residential fixed investment (RFI). RFI is effectively the measure of the home building, multifamily development, and remodeling contributions to GDP. It includes construction of new single-family and multifamily structures, residential remodeling, production of manufactured homes and brokers’ fees.
For the third quarter of 2019, RFI was 3.1% of the economy, reaching a $594 billion seasonally adjusted annual pace (measured in inflation adjusted 2012 dollars).
The second impact of housing on GDP is the measure of housing services, which includes gross rents (including utilities) paid by renters, and owners’ imputed rent (an estimate of how much it would cost to rent owner-occupied units) and utility payments. The inclusion of owners’ imputed rent is necessary from a national income accounting approach, because without this measure, increases in homeownership would result in declines for GDP.
For the third quarter, housing services was 11.5% of the economy or $2.18 trillion on seasonally adjusted annual basis.
Taken together, housing’s share of GDP was 14.6% for the quarter.
Historically, RFI has averaged roughly 5% of GDP while housing services have averaged between 12% and 13%, for a combined 17% to 18% of GDP. These shares tend to vary over the business cycle.
As the homeless crisis continues to simmer in Oregon’s largest city, local officials working with nonprofit groups have deployed mobile hygiene stations in a bid to clean up some of the largest encampments.
Portland, with a metropolitan area of about 2.4 million people, has joined West Coast cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco in struggling with a growing homeless crisis that ranks among the worst in the country.
Safety resource website Security.org released a study on Monday that showed Oregon has the fourth-highest number of homeless people in the nation when adjusted for population. The study found Oregon has about 350 homeless people per 100,000 people, nearly double the national average of 168 per 100,000. The study also found that Oregon’s homeless rate has increased by nearly 14.10 percent since 2014.
Oregon has seen its homeless rate rise by nearly 14.10 percent since 2014, according to a recent study.
On any given night, thousands of people can be found sleeping on the streets of Portland. The latest count, released in August, shows that, in 2019, more people were sleeping outside in Multnomah County than at any time in the last decade. Of the 2,037 unsheltered people, nearly 80 percent reported having one or more disabilities.
In January, Portland launched a “Navigation Team” with outreach workers that have spent time going out to homeless encampments, focusing on specific locations in order to reduce impacts to area communities.
“These are campsites that for a very long time have been generating concerns and safety issues,” Denis Theiault, a spokesman for the Joint Office for Homeless Services, told FOX12 on Tuesday. “Not just public safety issues but health and safety issues for the folks who are camping there as well as the folks who are near those sites.”
Officials in Portland have deployed a mobile hygiene unit which is comprised of two portable toilets, hand-washing stations, a garbage can, sharp box and lockers to help improve areas near homeless encampments.
Part of that outreach includes offering sanitation services, such as a mobile hygiene unit that is comprised of two portable toilets, hand-washing stations, a garbage can, a sharp box, and lockers.
The mobile station deploys around various homeless encampments with the largest populations, according to officials. The current trailer on Southeast Flavel Street under Interstate 205 was moved to the underpass about two weeks ago.
Tracy Vargas, who has been camping out in southeast Portland for over three years, told FOX12 she appreciates that there is now a place where she is able to have access to a bathroom.
“You’ve got to find a business around the area that will let you come in and go,” Vargas told FOX12 Tuesday. “A lot of times you get left to going out in the woods or wherever you can go.”
In the summer of 2019, Fox News embarked on an ambitious project to chronicle the toll progressive policies has had on the homeless crisis in four west coast cities: Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, Ore. In each city, we saw a lack of safety, sanitation, and civility. Residents, the homeless and advocates say they’ve lost faith in their elected officials’ ability to solve the issue. Most of the cities have thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at the problem only to watch it get worse. This is what we saw in Portland.
Vargas said she’s also working with the homeless outreach team to get her birth certificate, and agrees the program is a “wonderful idea.
Pat Perkins said she’s seen an influx in homeless people in the 14 years she’s lived in the area, and the garbage and human waste have grown exponentially in the past five years.
“It seems like it could be a health hazard, especially when you see needles and feces on the ground,” Perkins told FOX12, saying having a designated place to throw trash, hazardous materials and use the bathroom will hopefully improve conditions.
The sanitation services may be the most visible part of the outreach group but it’s not their only goal, according to Theiault. He told FOX12 the group’s ultimate plan is to get people permanently off the streets by providing them with necessary things to move forward.
“We’re going to get them their ID, we’re going to get them a birth certificate, we’re going to get them medical connections,” he told FOX12.
City officials said Tuesday that at least 15 people from the camp under Interstate 205 have been placed in shelters, including two families.
Growth in residential remodeling spending is expected to slow considerably by the middle of next year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects that annual gains in homeowner expenditures for improvements and repairs will shrink from 6.3 percent in the current quarter to just 0.4 percent by the second quarter of 2020.
“Declining home sales and homebuilding activity coupled with slower gains in permitting for improvement projects will put the brakes on remodeling growth over the coming year,” says Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “However, if falling mortgage interest rates continue to incentivize home sales, refinancing, and ultimately remodeling activity, the slowdown may soften some.”
“With the release of new benchmark data from the American Housing Survey, we’ve also lowered our projection for market size about 6 percent to $323 billion,” says Abbe Will, Associate Project Director in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Center. “Spending in 2016 and 2017 was not nearly as robust as expected, growing only 5.4 percent over these two years compared to 11.9 percent as estimated.”
More information about the newly released benchmark data and changes to the projected LIRA market size can be found here.
Click image for full-size chart.
The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) provides a short-term outlook of national home improvement and repair spending to owner-occupied homes. The indicator, measured as an annual rate-of-change of its components, is designed to project the annual rate of change in spending for the current quarter and subsequent four quarters, and is intended to help identify future turning points in the business cycle of the home improvement and repair industry. Originally developed in 2007, the LIRA was re-benchmarked in April 2016 to a broader market measure based on the biennial American Housing Survey.
The LIRA is released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University in the third week after each quarter’s closing. The next LIRA release date is October 17, 2019.
The Remodeling Futures Program, initiated by the Joint Center for Housing Studies in 1995, is a comprehensive study of the factors influencing the growth and changing characteristics of housing renovation and repair activity in the United States. The Program seeks to produce a better understanding of the home improvement industry and its relationship to the broader residential construction industry.
The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies advances understanding of housing issues and informs policy. Through its research, education, and public outreach programs, the Center helps leaders in government, business, and the civic sectors make decisions that effectively address the needs of cities and communities. Through graduate and executive courses, as well as fellowships and internship opportunities, the Center also trains and inspires the next generation of housing leaders.
Home price gains in the U.S. fell in April — marking the 13th consecutive month of slowing growth.
Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday that its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index posted a 3.5% year-over-year increase in April, down from 3.7% in March. The 20-City Composite posted a 2.5% gain, down from 2.6% the previous month — the slowest pace since August 2012. Both results met analysts’ expectations.
“Home price gains continued in a trend of broad-based moderation,” said Philip Murphy, managing director and global head of index governance at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a press statement. “Comparing the YOY National Index nominal change of 3.5% to April’s inflation rate of 2.0% yields a real house price change of 1.5% – edging closer to the real long run average of 1.2%.”
“We expect home price growth to continue in the low single digits for the remainder of the year as inventory rises,” said Ruben Gonzalez, chief economist at Keller Williams, in a statement.
Inventory, the number of homes for sale, which has been a factor in driving home prices up the past few years has been increasing in major markets, indicating that there may be some relief in home prices in the coming months.
Price growth in major markets continues upward but “at diminishing rates of change,” according to Murphy. In fact, in Seattle there was zero price growth in April, compared to a 13.1% annual gain the same month last year. Since June 2018, price growth in Amazon’s home city has been decelerating from its double-digit rates. Las Vegas led the 20-City Composite for 10 straight month posting a 7.1% annual increase.
If you want to paint your kitchen hot pink or mint green, that’s totally up to you (and, by the way, that would make for a pretty fab conversation-starting space!) However, if you ask real estate agents, they’ve got definite opinions on colorways for this all too important room in the house. (They also know that painting your kitchen certain colors, like brick or barn red, can actually devalue your home to the tune for more than $2,000, says a recent Zillow study!) Read on for their take on the best color palette for your kitchen:
Go for neutral and modern colors
“I work with a stager who uses Gray Mist and Edgecomb Gray, both Benjamin Moore paints, and people always asks what colors these are,” says Maria Daou of Warburg Realty in New York City. “They’re both soft colors that really look great in all types of light.”
When in doubt, stay uniform
“Unless you have nine-foot-plus ceiling heights, I would suggest you keep the kitchen walls and ceilings the same color,” says Robin Kencel of Compass Real Estate in Greenwich, Connecticut. She recommends keeping your kitchen white, and, if you’re on a budget, opting for Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, described as ‘reminiscent of the first snowfall.’
“This will end up creating an enveloping feeling and a sense of harmony in the space,” Kencel says.
But consider the power of contrasting color
“I love the look of white cabinets with a touch of gray,” says Peggy Dahan, of Siderow Residential Group in New York City. “I always suggest keeping it simple and easy to match when it comes to color. Another great way to contrast those white cabinets? Wood floors or tile floors that resemble wood. I’ve noticed that those are a big hit these days.”
If you want something a little more funky, consider contrasting top and bottom cabinets. Zillow’s 2018 Paint Color analysis found that these “tuxedo” kitchens (top and bottom cabinets painted with dark and light colors), were found to sell at a $1,500 premium.
Show off your stainless appliances
“For those with stainless appliances, a white kitchen looks great and there’s a huge demand for that palette,” says Lewis Friedman, of the Friedman Team at Compass Real Estate in New York City. “We often have clients paint cabinets and walls white, and Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore is a favorite.”
Brighten a dark kitchen
You might have gotten the gist that homebuyers often like white kitchens as they make things seem bigger. But you don’t have to paint your kitchen white for a spacious feel.
“While white cabinets and subway tiles have become practically de rigueur for everything, it’s become boring,” says Marie Bromberg of Compass Real Estate in New York City. Her antidote? Thinking light, like light wood and natural finishes and customizations.
“I painted my own walls Gentleman’s Grey by Benjamin Moore,” she says. “It keeps all of my kitchen’s secrets and doesn’t require that much maintenance.”
Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “Mortgage rates have stabilized during the last month and are essentially at the same level as last spring – yet the most recent home sales are roughly half a million lower over the same period. Given that the economy remains on solid footing and weekly mortgage purchase application activity has been strong so far in 2019, we expect the decline in home sales to moderate or even reverse over the next couple of months.”
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.45 percent with an average 0.4 point for the week ending January 24, 2019, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.15 percent.
15-year FRM this week averaged 3.88 percent with an average 0.4 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.62 percent.
Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.
Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing mortgage rates declining from the previous week and reaching their lowest level since February of last year.
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.59 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending April 7, 2016, down from last week when they averaged 3.71 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.66 percent.
15-year FRM this week averaged 2.88 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.98 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.93 percent.
Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for theDefinitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.
Quote Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.
“Mortgage rates this week registered the delayed impact of last week’s sharp drop in Treasury yields as the 30-year mortgage rate fell 12 basis points to 3.59 percent. This rate marks a new low for 2016 and matches last year’s low in February 2015. Low mortgage rates and a positive employment outlook should support a strong housing market in the second quarter of 2016.”
If you’ve gone through the painstaking process of renting a new apartment in the past few years, you probably faced some sticker-shock. Vacancy rates are low, really low. And despite ever-present scaffolding, construction in many cities is still slow, as new tenants move in but few move out. The result is that in almost every major metro area, the rent is, in fact, too damn high.
Basic wisdom (which was largely established by rules governing public housing eligibility) warns a healthy bank account means that one’s housing costs shouldn’t exceed about one-third of a person’s take home pay. While that might be a prudent suggestion because, after all, people do have other bills and savings goals, it’s become virtually impossible to adhere to for many who live in major metro areas.
A recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) at Harvard, puts some numbers on just how bad this problem is: About half of all renters in the U.S. are using more than 30 percent of their income to cover housing costs, and about 25 percent have rent that exceeds 50 percent of their monthly pay.
It’s not just the poorest city-dwellers who are feeling the rent pressure. As prices rise, even those who make median incomes are finding that their rent eats away at a more significant portion of their pay than it once did for those in the middle class. It’s also not just the Millennial crowd: This problem is also evident across different age groups, including Gen X and Boomers who never left the rental market, or find themselves back in it after the housing crash.
A big part of the problem is that fewer households are making the transition from renting to owning, which means more competition for limited inventory—driving rental prices up. Renters who would previously be able to qualify for mortgages are either finding that mortgage lenders are still super strict post-recession, or that there simply aren’t many homes in their price range—or both. “In normal times when homeownership was achievable you could get a starter home for between $150,000 to $250,000,” says Andrew Jakabovics, a senior director at Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit that focuses on affordable housing. “That segment of the market is basically dead.”
So instead, households with higher incomes and dreams of white picket fences remain in the rental market. Those households take up available units in the mid-to-high price ranges, for which they can afford to pay a premium. In fact, renters with incomes that top $75,000 are among the fastest growing group in the market, says Chris Herbert, the managing director of the JCHS. “Developers will be drawn to build the houses that provide the highest returns,” he says. That means not enough new apartments are affordable apartments that can accommodate low- and middle-income residents. Instead, high-priced luxury units get built first, pushing rents up and middle and low-income earners into apartments that are more expensive than they can afford. Sometimes this means pricing them out of cities altogether.
In a May 2015 survey conducted by NAHB, 62 percent of builders reported that the overall supply of developed lots in their areas was low to very low, up 2 percent from May 2014, but up from 43 percent in September 2012. Sixty-two percent is the largest low supply percentage recorded since NAHB began periodically asking the question in 1997 on its monthly survey for the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).
The continued low supply of developed lots is a hindrance to housing recovery that is still quite modest by most standards. Figure 1 compares the HMI responses on lot supply to housing starts. Starts have recovered from a low of 550,000 in 2009 to just over 1 million in 2014 (after averaging 1.5 million a year from 1960-2000, without ever plunging below 1 million until 2008).
The 62 percent includes 39 percent who characterized the supply of lots simply as “low” and 23 percent who said the supply of lots was “very low.” The shortages tended to be especially acute in the most desirable, or “A” locations. Thirty-four percent of builders said that the supply of “A” lots was very low, compared to 19 percent for lots in “B” and 14 percent for lots in “C” locations.
A shortage of buildable lots, especially in the most desirable locations translates into higher prices, as 38 percent of home builders said the price of developed “A” lots was somewhat higher than it was a year ago, and 32 percent said the price was substantially higher. In comparison, 16 percent of builders said the price of “B” lots was substantially higher than a year ago, and 12 percent said the price of “C” lots was substantially higher (Figure 2).
Mamaroneck: SIX Rotating Vendors Offer Delicious Foods + More!Ossining: Cooking Demonstration by Susan Chasen of the Organic Teaching Kitchen + More! March 26th – April 1st, 2015 DowntoEarthMarkets.com
What’s New, In Season, and On Sale This Week
$2 OFF when you buy 2 items: Frozen samosa, kofta, saag, rajma, and/or chutneys Bombay Emerald Chutney Co.
$3 OFF Ginseng Kombucha OM Champagne Tea
Chicken Bone Broth $10 for one 24 oz bag or $18 for two.Great for the “Bone Broth Challenge” (a cup a day) or in wide variety of cooking! Yellow Bell Farm
Curried Beef Pot Pie Stone & Thistle Farm
Gluten Free Peasant Bread Meredith’s Bread
Gluten Free Rosemary Olive Bread Meredith’s Bread
Ham and Sweet Potato Pot Pie Stone & Thistle Farm
Hot Cross Buns Robinson & Co. Catering
Lamb Pies Robinson & Co. Catering
Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies Christiane’s Backstube
Pie-Tin Baked Pork Pie Stone & Thistle Farm
Pork Rillette Stone & Thistle Farm
Click on a market to see all vendor and event details…Ossining Winter Saturdays 9:00 am-1:00 pm Claremont Elementary School on Van Cortlandt Avenue, off of N. Highland (Rte. 9)
Note: The market moves back outside to the corner of Spring & Main Streets in downtown Ossining on Saturday, April 4th.
Best Farmers Market in Westchester: Vote Larchmont or Ossining
We’re thrilled to announce that two Down to Earth Farmers Markets — Ossining and Larchmont — are in the running for Best of Westchester 2015 by Westchester Magazine. The voting is open until 5 pm on April 3rd. Cast your vote for your favorite Down to Earth Farmers Market HERE. High five!
Down to Earth Markets is Hiring
It’s Hiring Season here at Down to Earth Markets. As we prepare for the 2015 markets, we have PAID, part-time positions available in Westchester. Most markets run one day per week, from May through Thanksgiving. Click here for details. Applications are due to Frankie Rowland, Westchester/Rockland County Territory Manager, by Tuesday, March 31st. We look forward to hearing from you.
Ossining: Please Order Tierra Farm Nut Products with Market Manager, Samantha
Down to Earth Markets is happy to partner with Claremont Elementary School to hold the Ossining Indoor Winter Farmers Market. In an effort to meet the needs of the school community, Tierra Farm will no longer be a vendor at the indoor market. For customers interested in purchasing Tierra Farm products, there will be weekly order forms available at the market. Please submit your Tierra Farm order form to the market manager, Samantha, during market hours, 9 am to 1 pm. During the week, you can pick up your Tierra Farm order at Down to Earth’s office on Main Street in Ossining. We look forward to seeing you. Tierra Farm will return on Saturday, April 4th, when the market moves back outside to its longtime home at the corner of Spring and Main Streets in downtown Ossining.
Ossining Loyalty Card Update
Due to the unexpected closure last week (snow on first day of spring?!), the Ossining Shopper Loyalty Card is now for attendance at THREE days of the market, rather than four. So, come get your third punch this Saturday and claim your prize. See you there.