Economic Report: New Home Sales Rise Unexpectedly

Dr. Rick Harper associate vice president of research and economic opportunity.
Dr. Rick Harper, associate vice president of research and economic opportunity.

New home sales beat expectations in September, leading to questions about where the housing market stands. In this week’s “Economic Report,” Dr. Rick Harper, who leads the University of West Florida Center for Research and Economic Opportunity, spoke with WUWF 88.1-FM’s Bob Barrett about what the report means and how the numbers indicate a time of transition for the housing market.

“In some hot markets, we’re actually seeing a shortage of inventory and that’s exacerbated by the fact that Florida lost about 53 percent of its construction jobs from 2006 until 2010,” Harper said. “Many of those people are gone having left the state to stay in construction or they’ve gone into other fields of endeavor. The constraint is skilled subcontractors, and we see prices rising as a result of expensive inputs and because the Fed is keeping interest rates so low that those low monthly payments get capitalized into higher housing costs.”

To read or listen to the complete report, click here.