Weekly Unemployment Insurance Claims Still Generally Declining

Initial claims for unemployment insurance[1] filed in the week ended April 12 increased slightly from last week’s level to 304,000. The increase of 2,000 claims can be considered as  weekly volatility in the data. In fact, the 4-week moving...

Always Important, Real Estate’s Influence Grows

The real estate industry has a significant role in the U.S. economy. Historically, real estate and related industries accounted for roughly 18% of GDP. While the economy slumped following the decline of the housing market, record low mortgage rates...

Housing Starts in March

Housing starts rose by 3 percent in March.  More single-family homes are being constructed while multifamily units contracted modestly. The latest pace of 946,000 units on an annualized basis, however, is still well short of what is needed to...

Latest Consumer Price Inflation

Inflation ticked higher in March, with the consumer price index increasing by 1.5 percent from one year ago. The current inflation is not troublesome – yet. The Fed keeps a closer watch not on the broadest measure of inflation...

The Down Payment Challenge and the Typical Renter

Tight credit characterizes the current housing environment. Buyers with large down payments are reported to have the bidding edge for houses. However, 60 percent of first–time buyers made a down payment of 6 percent or less as of February...