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.

New Home Sales Decline

By Michael Neal Sales of new homes fell by 1.5 percent over the month of April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 662,000. According to the report released by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the small monthly decline partly reflected a downward revision to the estimate of new home sales in March from …

Read More »

Standards on AD&C Loans Ease, Interest Rates Expected to Rise

By Michael Neal Builders and developers responding to NAHB’s AD&C Financing Survey continue to report easing credit conditions for acquisition, development, and single-family construction loans, over the first quarter of 2018, but the pace of easing slowed. At the same time, the majority of survey respondents indicated that the typical loan they obtained in the first quarter of 2018 was …

Read More »

Banks See Weaker Demand for Business and CRE Loans

By Michael Neal The Federal Reserve Board’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey showed that lending standards on Commercial and Industrial (C&I) loans eased over the first quarter of 2018. At the same time, lending standards on commercial real estate (CRE) loans tightened, but at a slower pace than last quarter. Importantly a net share of banks noted that demand for …

Read More »

Core Inflation Slows in April

By Michael Neal Following a decline in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that consumer prices rose by 0.2 percent over the month of April, largely reflecting energy and food prices as well as shelter prices. Excluding energy and food prices, “core” inflation decelerated from 0.2 percent to 0.1 percent as shelter prices, which represent the largest share of …

Read More »

Mortgage Rates Climb in April

By Michael Neal According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), mortgage rates continue to rise and this is confirmed by data from Freddie Mac. The short end of the yield curve, which is most sensitive to monetary policy, has been the primary force behind the increase in mortgage rates. In recent years, short-term rates have put upward pressure on …

Read More »

Fed Keeps Rate Steady: Higher Rates Expected

By Michael Neal As was widely expected, the Federal Open Market Committee (“FOMC”), the monetary policy making body of the Federal Reserve, maintained the federal funds rate at a range of 1.50 to 1.75 percent following its meeting that convened on March 1-2, a rate it deems “accommodative”. Going forward, the FOMC expects that, with further gradual adjustments in the …

Read More »

Nation’s Economy Grows in the First Quarter

By Michael Neal In its first or “advance” estimate, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), reported that the nation’s economy, as measured by the real gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 2.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis in the first quarter of 2018. This is the second consecutive quarter in which growth slowed. However, this is the …

Read More »

New Home Sales Rise But With Underlying Variation

By Michael Neal According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sales of new homes rose by 4.0 percent over the month of March to reach a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 694,000. Year-to-date, covering the first quarter of 2018, the total number of new homes sold is 10.3 percent ahead of its …

Read More »