commerce department - Articles

Construction Spending Barely Budges in February

Elise Amendola/AP By MARTIN CRUTSINGER WASHINGTON -- U.S. construction spending posted a slight increase in February as a rebound in construction of hotels and other nonresidential buildings offset a decline in housing. But housing construction fell as activity was still being depressed by the harsh... Continue Reading »

Homeownership Rate at Its Lowest Since 1995

By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON -- Homeownership in the United States hit a 17-1/2-year low in the second quarter as Americans continue to shift toward renting, underscoring the lingering effects of the recession on the housing market. The seasonally adjusted homeownership rate slipped to 65.1 percent, the lowest since the... Continue Reading »

New Home Sales Took a Tumble in February

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell more than expected in February after hefty gains the previous month, but steady gains in home prices suggested the housing market recovery remains intact. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday sales dropped 4.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000 units.... Continue Reading »

New Home Sales in November Hit Fastest Pace in 2.5 Years

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans bought new homes last month at the fastest pace in more than two and a half years, adding to other recent evidence that the housing market is steadily recovering. The Commerce Department says that sales of new homes rose 4.4 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 377,000.... Continue Reading »

U.S. New Home Sales Fall to 5-Month Low

By Christopher S. Rugaber WASHINGTON -- Americans bought fewer new homes in June after sales jumped to a two-year high in May. The steep decline suggests a weaker job market and slower growth could make the housing recovery uneven. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that sales of new homes fell 8.4 percent last... Continue Reading »

U.S. Construction Spending Hit 2.5-Year High in May

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Reuters) - U.S. construction spending rose to its highest level in nearly two and a half years in May as investment in residential and federal government projects surged, a rare dose of good news for the flagging economic recovery. Construction spending increased 0.9 percent to an annual rate of $830... Continue Reading »

New Homes Sell at Fastest Pace in 2 Years

By Martin Crutsinger WASHINGTON -- Americans bought new homes in May at the fastest pace in more than two years. The increase suggests a modest recovery in the housing market is continuing, despite weaker job growth. The Commerce Department said Monday that sales of new homes increased 7.6 percent in May from April to a... Continue Reading »

U.S. Construction Spending Up 0.3 Percent in April

By Martin Crutsinger WASHINGTON -- U.S. builders increased their spending on construction projects for a second month in April. A pickup in home construction and commercial projects offset a fifth consecutive decline in government spending. Construction spending rose 0.3 percent in April, matching an upwardly revised... Continue Reading »

Housing Starts Hit 17-Month High

WASHINGTON -- Homes were built in September at the fastest pace in 17 months, a hopeful sign for the economy. Most of the gain was driven by a surge in volatile apartment construction, which helps boost economic growth. But other data suggest a housing recovery is far off. Single-family home construction, which... Continue Reading »

Construction Spending Up, But Still Anemic

WASHINGTON -- U.S. builders increased spending on homes, office buildings and other projects in August after a big decline in July. The gain still left the construction industry far below levels considered healthy. Construction spending rose 1.4 percent in August, the Commerce Department said Monday. The increase... Continue Reading »

Construction Spending Still Stuck in the Mud

Builders cut back on spending by the largest amount in six months in July with sharp reductions in outlays for government building projects. Construction spending fell 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $789.5 billion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That is 3.5 percent above an 11-year low... Continue Reading »

Housing Starts Bounce Back After Troubled Spring

WASHINGTON -- Builders broke ground on more single-family homes and apartments in June, as the home-building industry tried to shake off a historically bad spring. The Commerce Department says builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 629,000 homes last month, a 14.6 percent increase from May. Still, that's roughly... Continue Reading »

Double Dip for Housing -- Or Is It an Extended Single Dip?

Is the housing market experiencing a double dip? It depends who you ask. The latest data on home prices, including the influential Case-Shiller Index, indicates that values are falling again in almost every market across the nation. Then again, the Commerce Department recently reported that the sales of newly constructed... Continue Reading »

New Homes No Longer an Attractive Proposition?

If you thought the existing-home sales figures for July were depressing, better pop a Zoloft or two before glancing at the new-homes sales numbers for the same month. Sales of new homes fell to a 37-year low in July, a 12.4 percent drop from June. The Commerce Department reported that a seasonally adjusted 276,000 new... Continue Reading »

New-Home Sales Rise as Builders Cut Prices

New homes are selling again, and buyers are happy. But builders apparently are paying the price: The Commerce Department recently reported that the average new home price dropped to $242,900 in June. That's the lowest it's been since 2003, and the worst year-over-year drop since April 2009. Still, some analysts think the... Continue Reading »

New Home Sales Lagged in May, So What's Next?

It's official: The housing market stinks. So when's the turnaround coming? Sales of new homes went into a freefall in May without the government's artificial lifeline. No wonder homebuilders were feeling so glum in June. Analysts were expecting a dip in the housing market, but nothing this bad. New home sales dropped... Continue Reading »

Housing Starts Disappoint, Analysts Shrug

What happens when there is bad housing news that nobody hears? Is it like the proverbial tree falling in the forest? Does it mean the bad news won't have a negative effect? New construction of homes dropped by 10 percent in May from the previous month, to a seasonally adjusted 593,000, according to new figures released by... Continue Reading »

New Home Sales Hit Record Low, Again!

If you were trying to sell a house in February and got no offers, well, you weren't alone. In February, sales of new homes hit their lowest point ever, or at least since the Commerce Dept. started keeping count in 1963. New homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 308,000 a year in February, according to the... Continue Reading »

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