What to expect at HousingWire’s Spring Summit

The focus of the Summit is The Year-Round Purchase Market. Record low rates led to a banner year for mortgage lenders in 2020, and this year is expected to be just as incredible.

Increasing lending and servicing capacity – regardless of rates

Business process outsourcing and digital transformation are proven solutions that more companies in the mortgage industry are turning to. Download this white paper for more.

HousingWire's 2021 Spring Summit

We’ve gathered four of the top housing economists to speak at our virtual summit, a new event designed for HW+ members that’s focused on The Year-Round Purchase Market.

An Honest Conversation on minority homeownership

In this episode, Lloyd interviews a senior research associate in the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute about the history and data behind minority homeownership.

Real Estate

Housing market challenged by a dearth of construction workers

A shortage of properties on the market is restricting real estate sales, Fed governor says

One of the biggest challenges facing the U.S. housing market is a dearth of construction workers that’s keeping homebuilders from meeting the demand of an expanding population, according to Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman, one of the people who votes on the central bank’s monetary policy.

A shortage of properties on the market has been restricting real estate sales in some parts of the country, she said. The answer is building more homes, but housing starts have lagged household formation, she said.

One of the biggest reason for that is the lack of construction workers, Bowman said Thursday in a speech in Kansas City, Missouri.

“The ratio of job vacancies to unemployment in the construction industry – a measure of labor market strength – shot up to historic highs at the end of 2018, and it has remained near those levels,” Bowman said. “These indicators confirm what I have been hearing from construction industry employers during my visits to different parts of the country – it’s extremely difficult to find and hire workers, skilled or otherwise.”

One solution is vocational training programs that connect young adults with jobs in the construction industry, she said.

“I am hopeful that these efforts, along with a continued strong job market, will encourage more people to join – or, in some cases, rejoin – the construction trades,” she said.

Single-family housing starts likely will total 1 million in 2020, the highest since 2007, the National Association of Realtors said in a forecast last month. In the five-year period that ended in 2019, the average was 822,000 a year, according to government data. From 1958 to 2007, the year before the housing crash, single-family housing starts averaged 1.1 million as the population expanded.

Housing is an issue that has a broad impact on GDP, said Bowman. Spending on existing homes as well as the construction of new residences accounts for 15% of the U.S. economy, she said.

“My colleagues and I at the Federal Reserve pay close attention to developments in the housing sector, in part because it has historically been such an important driver of economic growth,” Bowman said. “If we include the amount families spend on shelter each month as well as the construction of new houses and apartments, housing generates about 15 cents out of every dollar of economic activity,” Bowman said.

Most Popular Articles

Do higher mortgage rates mark the end of the refi wave?

As mortgage rates rose over the last week, refi activity fell. But millions of borrowers are still eligible if lenders can get them through the pipeline.

Feb 23, 2021 By

Latest Articles

How lenders can prepare for growing fraud threats

HousingWire recently spoke with Jeffrey Morelli, general manager at Truework, about what lenders can do to prepare for and overcome the growing threat of fraud and data inaccuracy.

Feb 26, 2021 By
3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please