MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
January job growth soars 467,000, unemployment rate edges up to 4.0 percent
Job growth rose by 467,000 in January, but the unemployment rate edged up from 3.9% to 4.0% as more workers left their jobs. Over the year, the unemployment rate is down by 2.4 percentage points, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 3.7 million.
91 percent of builders expect material prices to be a problem in 2022
Building material prices were a significant issue for 96% of builders in 2021, and 91% of the builders expect it to continue being a problem in 2022. The second most widespread problem in 2021 was availability/time it takes to obtain building materials cited by 91% of builders. In 2022, the share of builders expecting availability/time it takes to obtain building materials is expected to be 90%.
Middle class most feeling the sting of higher home prices and low inventory
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, home prices surged about 30%, according to a joint report from Realtor.com® and the National Association of Realtors®. The typical home now costs about $80,000 more than it did just two years ago. The number of properties currently listed is about a quarter of what was available during the same period in 2007. The shortage has resulted in a runup in prices, offers well over asking price, and bidding wars making it even more challenging, particularly for first-time buyers.