NBN Online for the week of January 30, 2006

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In This Issue:

Front Page
Local Regs Hammer Affordable Housing, Study Finds
Tidy Katrina Cottage One Approach to Rebuilding Effort
NAHB Designations Give Members a Competitive Edge
Coast to Coast
11 Indicted in ‘Eco Terrorism’ Case
Housing Forum
Credit Unions Hold Opportunities for Builders
Politics & Government
Key Housing Issues Await Congressional Action
Economics & Finance
2005 Another Banner Year for New-Home Sales
Existing Home Sales Head Down at Record Year’s End
Data Will Show Risks of Commercial Vs. Residential Loans
Elderly Tend to Pay Off Mortgages, 2001 Survey Finds
Zero Down Common Among Entry-Level Home Buyers
Eye on the Economy
Builders’ Tip: Coping With Mini-Grinders
Business Management
How to Grow in a Slowing Market
Smaller Builders Can Compete Against the Giants
'Living Large' Is Key in Latest Kitchen Design
Construction Safety
Builders Must Post 2005 Job-Related Injuries and Illnesses
Precautions Needed for Working in the Cold
Best in Sales and Marketing Honored at The Nationals at IBS
Remodeling Growth Entering a Slowdown
Growing Commercial Council Takes Vision, Relevancy
Builder, Mom Nicole Goolsby Heads Women’s Council
IRM Welcomes 157 New Sales Designees to the Fold
Education Calendar
Green Building
Green Basics: You Don’t Have to Go Weird to Build Green
NAHB’s Green Home Building Guidelines Available Online Free
Conference Focuses on Green Building Market
TV Station Built to Weather the Storm
U.S., Mexico Sign Partnership to Spur Housing
HBI Chair to Increase Housing's Profile Among the Young
Building Products
Therma-Tru Is Lowe’s Supplier of 2005
Builder's Engineer
I Always Get Slaughtered, Part 2 — Dirt Problems
NAHB-Produced Programs on HGTV & DIY This Week
Association News
Nation’s Building News Now Searchable on NAHB Web Site
Calendar Connects Members to NAHB Resources
Key Associate Members Honored for Ongoing NAHB Support
Calendar of Events

Related Articles

2005 Another Banner Year for New-Home Sales

Data Will Show Risks of Commercial Vs. Residential Loans

Elderly Tend to Pay Off Mortgages, 2001 Survey Finds

Zero Down Common Among Entry-Level Home Buyers

Eye on the Economy

Existing Home Sales Head Down at Record Year’s End

Existing home sales set a fifth consecutive record last year, rising to 7.072 million, up 4.2% from the 6.784 million homes sold in 2004, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The year ended on a downward note, with sales in December dropping 5.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.60 million, down from an upwardly revised 7.00 million in November, and leaving sales 3.1% slower than the pace recorded one year earlier.

The result of fast rising home prices and more slowly rising mortgage interest rates, the slowdown to more sustainable levels had long been anticipated, but a recent unexpected decline in mortgage rates may have complicated the picture a bit, even though housing activity is still expected to trend gradually downward.

“This is part of the market adjustment we’ve been discussing, with a soft landing in sight for the housing sector,” said David Lereah, the association’s chief economist.

“The level of home sales activity is now at a sustainable level, and is likely to pick up a bit in the months ahead,” he said. “Overall fundamentals remain solid, driven by population and employment growth as well as favorable affordability conditions in most of the country, so we expect the housing market to remain historically high but lower than last year’s record.”

Noting that if lower mortgage rates are sustained, Lereah said that “the housing market could see some unexpected lift.”

The national median existing home price for all housing types was $211,000 in December, up 10.5% from the same month a year earlier.

The median existing condo price was $228,100 in December, higher than the median price of a single-family home, which was $209,300.

Condominium and coop sales increased 1.6% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 877,000, 4.5% higher than a year earlier. Single-family sales, by comparison, dropped 5.72% to a rate of 6.14 million and were 4.2% lower than in December 2004.

Regionally, resales were unchanged in December in the Northeast at a pace of 1.09 million. Sales declined 2.6% in the Midwest to 1.52 million, 7.2% in the South to 2.58 million and 11.4% in the West to 1.40 million.

Where Are the Top 100 Metropolitan Areas for 2006?

HousingEconomics Online,” the online publication from the NAHB Economics Group, is your single source for market analysis, forecasts, housing statistics and more. In-depth analysis, detailed Excel tables and overviews are available for all metro forecasts. To learn more or subscribe to “HousingEconomics Online”, visit www.housingeconomics.com.



Give Your Perspective on the New NAHB Economics Blog

Give your economic perspective on NAHB's new economics blog, “Seiders on Housing,” an informal Internet-based discussion forum dealing with topical economic issues, housing trends, survey research and other topics affecting the housing sector of the economy.

Log onto the blog at http://nahbblog.blogs.com and get direct access to NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders' expert opinions, projections and responses.

Attend the Spring Construction Forecast Conference in April

Plan to attend NAHB's Construction Forecast Conference on April 27 at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C. The conference brings together the nation's premier housing economists and finance experts for an in-depth look at the economic outlook for the housing industry.


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