Housing Commission

About the Commission

The Housing Commission continues to elevate housing to the top of the national policy agenda through a series of bold recommendations that respond to the most critical challenges in housing today.

New Directions for National Policy: 2014 Housing Summit

Housing is a bedrock element of our nation’s economy and our personal well-being, yet all too often it loses out to other priorities in the intense competition for policymakers’ attention. By participating in the 2014 Housing Summit, you will help elevate housing to the top of the national agenda during a critical year for housing policy. The two-day convening will feature private-sector experts, elected officials, academics, and housing practitioners from across the country and promises to be one of the most significant housing policy events to take place this year. Learn more and register

BPC Forum Highlights Potential Budget Impact of Proposed GSE Reform Legislation

BPC’s forum on the “Implications of GSE Reform for the Federal Budget and National Debt” provided a primer on how the federal government currently accounts for the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the budgetary impact of proposals to wind down the two institutions.

Housing Expert Forum: Energy Efficiency

What are the most promising opportunities to promote greater residential energy efficiency? Is there a role for the federal government?

State and Federal Efforts Working Together to Improve Energy Efficiency Investment
By Todd Nedwick

There is growing awareness about the role of energy efficiency investments in fighting poverty. Reducing energy consumption in low-income housing not only lowers utility bills, but helps extend the life of the property by freeing up capital that can be used to address maintenance repair needs or make necessary improvements. Energy efficiency investments also create healthier living environments, which can lower the incidence of asthma, and other ailments that keep children home from school or adults from their jobs.

Primer: Sharing Credit Risk

Reducing Taxpayer Exposure: Sharing Credit Risk with the Private Sector

Dec. 10, 2013

In a housing finance system that includes a government guarantee, private capital that stands in the “first loss” position plays an important role in reducing the risk of taxpayer losses. “First loss” means the private sector stands ahead of the government in guaranteeing the timely payment of principal and interest on mortgage-backed securities when borrowers default.

Primer: Secondary Market

The Role of the Secondary Market in Mortgage Financing

Dec. 6, 2013

The secondary market for mortgages plays a critical role in sustaining a healthy housing market. Few homebuyers have sufficient savings to purchase a home outright, and many need to borrow money to buy their first home or to move to another one. Without the ability to borrow against the value of the home they are purchasing, many prospective buyers would be shut out of the market.

Primer: Ginnie Mae

Ginnie Mae: How Does it Work and What Does it Do?

Dec. 6, 2013

The Government National Mortgage Association (or Ginnie Mae) is a government corporation within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It was established in 1968 when Fannie Mae was privatized. Its mission is to expand funding for mortgages that are insured or guaranteed by other federal agencies.

Co-Chair Corner

The State of Housing in America
Feb. 25, 2014

Today marks the first anniversary of the release of the Commission’s report, Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy. As readers of this blog know, our report highlights what we consider the most urgent housing challenges facing our country.

Twitter Updates

Housing by the Numbers

Housing starts (new residential construction projects begun in a specific period of time) is one of three metrics included in the monthly survey of homebuilders nationwide compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau jointly with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The figure displayed is a seasonally adjusted annual rate. New data is released on the 12th workday of each month.

946,000
Annual rate
Increase
2.8%
Apr. 16, 2014 | Census Bureau/HUD
Housing Stock

The joint Census Bureau-HUD residential construction report tabulates the number of new housing units on which construction has started by building size and purpose. The figure displayed (a seasonally adjusted annual rate) is the number of units started each month in buildings with 5+ units. Note that the figure displayed represents a portion of overall housing starts (highlighted on this dashboard as a separate indicator).

292,000
Annual rate
Decrease
6.1%
Apr. 16, 2014 | Census Bureau/HUD
Housing Stock
Wells Fargo and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) produce this monthly index gauging builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months. Scores from each component of the survey are used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor. The index is released monthly, the day before new residential construction data is posted by the U.S. Census Bureau and HUD.
47
Increase
1 pt
Apr. 15, 2014 | NAHB/Wells Fargo
Industry Sentiment

Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey compiles weekly data from over 125 lenders nationwide based on their current quotes, indicating what a prospective borrower may pay for the loan product. The figure displayed is the average weekly rate (released every Thursday).

4.34%
Weekly rate
Decrease
0.07%
Apr. 10, 2014 | Freddie Mac
Mortgage Markets
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks the monthly percentage of the total labor force that is unemployed but actively seeking employment and willing to work. Unemployment statistics are released on the first Friday of each month.
6.7%
None
N/A
Apr. 4, 2014 | BLS
Economic Indicator
CoreLogic's monthly data on completed foreclosures and the overall foreclosure inventory.
43,000
Decrease
7,000
Apr. 3, 2014 | CoreLogic
Home Sales Volumes and Inventories

The S&P/Case-Shiller Composite of 20 Home Price Index is a value-weighted average of the 20 metro area indices. A value above 100 indicates that prices have increased relative to the baseline (January 2000 = 100). The index, calculated using a three-month moving average and published with a two month lag, is released on the last Tuesday of each month.

165.50
Decrease
0.08%
Mar. 25, 2014 | S&P/Case-Shiller
House Price and Affordability
The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index is formed from monthly survey results of more than 3,000 households and designed to gauge the relative financial health, spending power and confidence of the average consumer. The index is based on consumers’ perceptions of current business and employment conditions, as well as their expectations for the next six months. A value below 100 indicates that confidence has decreased relative to the baseline (1985 = 100). The index is released on the last Tuesday of each month.
82.3
Increase
4 pts
Mar. 25, 2014 | The Conference Board
Economic Indicator

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) House Price Index is calculated monthly using purchase prices of houses with mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. A value above 100 indicates that house prices have increased relative to the baseline (January 1991 = 100). The index is published with a two month lag.

209.1
Increase
0.5%
Mar. 25, 2014 | FHFA
House Price and Affordability
Compiled monthly by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales (or home resales) represent the number of previously constructed co-ops, condominiums, townhouses and single-family homes in which a sale closed during the month. The figure displayed is a seasonally adjusted annual rate.
4,600,000
Annual rate
Decrease
0.4%
Mar. 20, 2014 | NAR
Home Sales Volumes and Inventories

The Census Bureau releases quarterly data on vacancy rates from the Current Population Survey (CPS). The national vacancy rate is tabulated from a sample of 72,000 units. The figure displayed is the vacancy rate for rentals with 5+ units in the structure. Quarterly vacancy rates are also available for 1-unit and 2+ unit rentals.

8.8%
Decrease
0.4%
Jan. 31, 2014 | Census Bureau
Home Sales Volumes and Inventories

The Census Bureau releases quarterly data on the national median list price for all rental units.

$746
Increase
$12
Jan. 31, 2014 | Census Bureau
House Price and Affordability
The National Multi Housing Council’s (NMHC) quarterly survey of large apartment firms reflects perceptions of trends in the apartment sector. A reading above 50 indicates that, on balance, respondents believe market conditions are getting tighter (i.e., lower vacancies, higher rent increases); a reading below 50 indicates that conditions are getting looser; and a reading of 50 indicates that conditions are unchanged.
41
Decrease
5 pts
Jan. 16, 2014 | NMHC
Industry Sentiment

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