According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), demand for design services in November 2019 increased at a modest pace for the second month in a row.
AIA's Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score of 51.9 for November reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).
During November, both the new project inquiries and design contracts scores were positive, posting scores of 60.9 and 52.9 respectively.
"The uncertainty surrounding the overall health of the economy is leading developers to proceed with more caution on new projects," said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. "We are at a point where there is a potential for an upside but also a potential for things to get worse."
Key ABI highlights for November include:
Regional averages: South (54.5); West (51.3); Midwest (51.1); Northeast (47.5)
Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (52.9) mixed practice (52.2); multi-family residential (51.5); institutional (50.1)
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's newly released Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), U.S. mortgage credit availability decreased in December 2019.
The MCAI fell by 3.5 percent to 182.2 in December.
Based on research from Learnbonds.com indicates that U.S. mortgage debt is now the highest since the Great Depression in 2008. The outstanding US mortgage debt which has been growing steadily in recent years hit a record high of $15.8 trillion in Q3 2019.
Based on CoreLogic's latest Home Price Index for November 2019, U.S. home prices rose both year over year and month over month. Home prices increased nationally by 3.7% from November 2018. On a month-over-month basis, prices increased by 0.5% in November 2019.
The oldest Millennials, who will turn 40 in 2020, have lived through a turbulent decade of housing marked first by the initial recovery from the Great Recession, then the extraordinary home value growth of recent years.
According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales fell in November 2019, taking a small step back after October's gains. The Northeast and Midwest both reported growth last month, while the South and West saw sales decline.
Demand for design services in November 2019 increased at a modest pace for the second month in a row. During November, both the new project inquiries and design contracts scores were positive, posting scores of 60.9 and 52.9 respectively.
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