Research Brief: Housing Market – September 2021

Tight multifamily vacancy supports permit surge. Across the residential sector, permit activity climbed in August. The rise was mostly attributed to multifamily, as filings for single-family houses remained relatively in line with preceding months. Meanwhile, apartment permits soared 15 percent month over month, reaching the highest level since June 2015. Greater construction is warranted by extremely tight vacancy, as apartment availability in June fell below 4 percent for just the second time in the past… Read More

Research Brief: Employment – September 2021

Health concerns slowed hiring last month. Job creation declined substantially in August as 235,000 positions were added, down from the 1.05 million personnel brought on in July. Job losses in many high-contact service roles contributed to the decrease, reflecting the negative impact of rising COVID-19 infections. Facing greater health risks, some individuals opted not to apply for such roles. Many employers have also imposed vaccine mandates, adding new steps to the hiring process. Growth is… Read More

Research Brief: Retail Sales – August 2021

Consumers tapped brakes on spending last month. Core retail sales dipped 0.7 percent on a monthly basis in July. Flattening consumer confidence likely indicates that the increase in coronavirus cases due to the delta variant is impacting shopping behavior. Clothing store sales, for instance, declined 2.6 percent last month, while department stores reported a 0.3 percent decline. The termination of federal unemployment benefits in roughly half of U.S. states may have also impacted retail sales… Read More

Research Brief: Housing Market – August 2021

Completions climb to a three-month high. Builders finalized more single-family and multifamily housing units combined in July than in either of the previous two months. Deliveries will likely trend higher in the coming quarters as well. The moderation in the cost of a few key materials, most notably lumber, has boosted permit activity and is helping the pipeline of stalled residential developments move toward the finish line. In July, apartment permit filings lifted by 10… Read More

Research Brief: Eviction Moratorium – August 2021

Rising infections prompt moratorium extension. On Aug. 3 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enacted a new order halting residential evictions in counties with substantial or high levels of COVID-19 community transmission. As of Aug. 17, most counties in the U.S. met that criteria, effectively extending a ban on residential evictions that has been in place in one form or another since April 2020. Once the order expires, currently slated for Oct. 3, pending… Read More

Research Brief: Employment – August 2021

 Unemployment steadily tightens. Job creation surpassed 900,000 new positions for the second consecutive month in July, lowering the unemployment rate 50 basis points month over month to 5.4 percent. While above the historically low 3.5 percent unemployment recorded just prior to the pandemic, the measure is still below the 5.9 percent average from 2000-2019. The restoration of 16.7 million jobs has been the driving force behind this drop in unemployment, although the exit of about… Read More

Research Brief: Retail Sales – July 2021

Consumer spending continues to grow. In June, core retail sales increased 1.1 percent as Americans continued to use money accumulated from stimulus and savings. Although more spending is aimed at services due to the broad reopening, plenty of new cash in the system supported growth for traditional retailers. Nonetheless, rapidly rising inflation, which measured 0.9 percent last month, dampens the better-than-anticipated retail sales figure. A portion of the increase comes from higher prices rather than… Read More

Research Brief: Housing – July 2021

Pandemic heightens changes in lifestyle. The leading edge of the 72 million millennial cohort began to age into the homebuying stage of life during the global financial crisis. Deterred by the housing crisis that followed, many delayed purchasing. Although millennial homebuying had picked up before the health crisis began, it was sped up dramatically as companies sent employees home to work. No longer tethered to the office and confronted with economic uncertainty, priorities and lifestyles… Read More

Research Brief: Housing Market – July 2021

Apartments attracting more investors. Investor confidence in multifamily is strengthening after the record-setting second quarter performance and an outlook that is bolstered by a lack of moderately priced homes available for purchase. The buyer pool for apartments is growing, facilitating a competitive bidding market. Multifamily assets traded for an average of $171,000 per unit over the past year ended in June, up 5 percent annually. Meanwhile, the average cap rate fell 20 basis points to… Read More

Research Brief: Gross Domestic Product 3Q 2021

Growth remains steady. In the second quarter, the economy ex-panded 6.5 percent on an annualized basis. Gains would have been larger but supply-chain challenges and a labor shortage hamstrung improvement. Those issues should be transitory, however, as amplified federal unemployment benefits sunset in September. In May, 9.2 million jobs were available nationwide, the highest level on record. Additionally, the national eviction moratorium may expire soon, which could encourage more workers to reenter the workforce. Supply-chain… Read More