Saturday , 19 August 2017

Michael Neal

Michael Neal
Michael Neal is a Senior Economist at the National Association of Home Builders based in Washington D.C. In this capacity, Mr. Neal’s research involves monitoring housing finance issues that impact the U.S. housing market. As a housing economist, Mr. Neal has provided expert analysis and commentary on housing to media outlets around the country. Prior to joining NAHB, Michael worked at the Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, the Federal Reserve, the Congressional Budget Office and Goldman Sachs. He holds a B.A. degree in Economics from Morehouse College, an M.P.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

LMI Indicates Continued Improvement Across the Country

By Michael Neal According to the NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), 89 percent, 299 metropolitan statistical areas, recorded growth in their LMI Score over the second quarter of 2017. The index uses single-family housing permits, employment, and home prices to measure proximity to a normal economic and housing market. The index is calculated for 337 local markets, metropolitan statistical …

Read More »

Senior Loan Officer Survey As A Barometer of the Economy

By Michael Neal Lending standards on business loans to large and medium-sized firms eased on net over the second quarter of 2017 according to the Federal Reserve Board’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey. Historical evidence has shown that lending standards on business loans to these establishments is correlated with both the growth in the stock of business loans held by …

Read More »

Mortgage Rates on New Home Purchases Tick Up

By Michael Neal Information provided by the Federal Housing Financing Agency indicates that mortgage rates on purchases of newly built homes ticked up by 3 basis points over June to 4.03 percent. However, at this level, rates remain below the 4.18 peak level recorded in February. Meanwhile, a more commonly used rate reported by Freddie Mac indicates that mortgage rates …

Read More »

Economy Grew At a Faster Pace in Q2

By Michael Neal In the second quarter of 2017, the nation’s economy grew at a faster pace than in the first quarter. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2017. In the first quarter, GDP grew at an annual rate of 1.2 …

Read More »

FOMC Balance Sheet Normalization Coming “Relatively Soon”

By Michael Neal In a statement following its two-day meeting covering July 25 and 26, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC or the Committee) decided to “maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1 to 1.25 percent”. All FOMC members voted in favor of this decision. In its statement, the FOMC maintains that, at this level, “the …

Read More »

New Home Sales Expand Moderately

By Michael Neal Sales of new single-family homes rose by 0.8 percent over the month of June 2017 to 610,000 as reported jointly by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The June increase in sales reflected a downward revision to the estimate of new home sales in May. If the May sales number remained at …

Read More »

Shelter Prices Contribute to Consumer Inflation

By Michael Neal Consumer prices faced by urban consumers nationwide, as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index – Urban Consumer (CPI), rose by 1.6 percent over the past year on a not seasonally adjusted dating back to June 2016. However, over the past month, consumer prices were unchanged (seasonally adjusted basis). The Shelter Price Index was …

Read More »

Residential Construction Loan Growth at Smaller Banks Has Slowed

By Michael Neal Residential construction loans held by banks have grown over the past 4 years. However, in recent quarters, growth in the stock of residential construction loans has slowed. The recent slowdown in residential construction loan volume largely reflects a deceleration in growth across smaller banks, those with assets at or below $10 billion. These banks hold the majority …

Read More »