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Trip Report Identifies 125 California Transportation Projects Needed To Support Economic Growth

TRIPTrip Report Identifies 125 California Transportation Projects Needed To Support Economic Growth,But Many Face A Funding “Red” Or “Yellow” Light; State Needs To Complete Critical Transportation Projects To Improve Highway And Transit Network

Forty-two of the 125 transportation improvements identified by TRIP as being the most needed in California have Trip Report Identifies 125 California Transportation Projects Needed To Support Economic Growth, received a red light because they are unfunded and 69 of the projects have earned a yellow light because they only have partial funding available, jeopardizing the region’s future quality of life due to an inadequate transportation system.   These transportation projects would support the state’s future development by improving access, safety and conditions according to a new report released recently by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

TRIP rated each needed transportation improvement as either having a green light, a yellow light or a red light in terms of the availability of funding, with a green light indicating that adequate funding was available. The report finds that more than one-third of the 125 most needed transportation projects in California have earned a red light because funding is not currently available and, under current funding, is not anticipated to be available through 2020. More than half of needed transportation projects in the state have earned a yellow light because only a portion of needed funding is anticipated to be available by 2020 or the funding is uncertain. Only 14 of the state’s most needed transportation projects have a green light, to signify that full funding is likely to be available or is anticipated to be available by 2020.

“The TRIP Report highlighting important unfunded transportation projects in the San Francisco Bay area underscores the vital need for legislative action on a transportation revenue package to support a growing population and a robust economy,” said Will Kempton, executive director of Transportation California.

TRIP has identified needed projects in the Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco urban areas, as well as projects outside those urban areas. The transportation improvements outside the state’s largest urban areas, as determined by TRIP, which are the most needed to support quality of life and development goals, and their funding status are listed in the following table. Information on projects can be found in the report’s appendices: Appendix A – Los Angeles, Appendix B – San Diego, Appendix C – San Francisco, Appendix D – Sacramento and Appendix E – projects outside largest urban areas .

CA1

The TRIP report also found that California continues to experience significant growth, with the state’s population increasing by 16 percent since 2000 to 39 million, Gross State Product increasing by 27 percent since 2000, when adjusted for inflation, and statewide vehicle miles of travel increasing by 5.3 percent from 2014 to 2015. More than half – 51 percent – of major urban roads in California have pavements in poor condition, eight percent of bridges in California are rated structurally deficient and the traffic fatality rate on California’s rural non-interstate roadways is nearly four-and-a-half times higher than on all other roads and highways in the state, the report found.

Turning the red and yellow lights, which many of the region’s most critically needed transportation improvements currently face, to green lights, will require increased transportation investment at the local, state and federal levels.

Signed into law in December 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, provides modest increases in federal highway and transit spending available to states, allows states greater long-term funding certainty and streamlines the federal project approval process. But the FAST Act does not provide adequate funding to meet the nation’s need for highway and transit improvements and does not include a long-term and sustainable funding source.

“Giving a green light to critically needed transportation projects in the Los Angeles area and throughout the state is going to require increased funding from all levels of government,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Unfortunately, too many of these transportation projects are facing yellow or red lights and potential state funding cuts could slow their progress even more.”
To review the entire TRIP California report or the various segments visit http://www.tripnet.org

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TRIPCA qrcode-98

TRIP Report: Deficient, Congested Roadways Cost Wisconsin Drivers $2,072 Annually, $6 Billion Statewide

Deficient, Congested Roadways Cost Wisconsin Drivers As Much As $2,072 Annually, A Total Of $6 Billion Statewide. Costs Will Rise And Transportation Woes Will Worsen Without Increased Funding

 Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Wisconsin motorists a total of $6 billion statewide annually – as much as $2,072 per driver in the state’s larger urban areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Wisconsin, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, Wisconsin Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Wisconsin, 42 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are in mediocre to poor condition and another 39 percent are in fair condition. Fourteen percent of Wisconsin’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting significant amounts of time and fuel each year. And 2,743 people were killed annually in crashes on Wisconsin’s roads from 2011 to 2015, with traffic fatalities increasing 13 percent in 2015 to 556 from 494 in 2014.

Driving on deficient roads costs each Milwaukee area driver $2,060 per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. Drivers in the Madison urban lose an average of $2,072 annually as a result of driving on deficient roads. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below.

WI 1The TRIP report finds that 56 percent of major roads in the Milwaukee urban area are in poor to mediocre condition, costing the average motorist an additional $861 each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. Sixty-eight percent of major roads in Madison are in poor to mediocre condition, costing each driver $974 each year.

“An efficient transportation infrastructure with adequate capacity is the circulatory system of a healthy economy,” said Steve Baas, senior vice president for governmental affairs and public policy at the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC).   “Road congestion throughout our region clogs the arteries of commerce and threatens the life and health of our business climate.”

Traffic congestion in the Milwaukee area is worsening, causing 38 hours of delay a year for the average motorist and costing each driver $987 annually in lost time and wasted fuel. The average Madison driver loses 36 hours annually as a result of congestion, while the annual cost of lost time and wasted fuel for each Madison driver is $911.

A total of 14 percent of Wisconsin’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Nine percent of Wisconsin’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional five percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete, which means they no longer meet modern design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment. In the Milwaukee urban area, six percent of bridges are structurally deficient and 24 percent are functionally obsolete. Nine percent of Madison area bridges are structurally deficient, while nine percent are functionally obsolete.

Wisconsin’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.84 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is lower than the national average of 1.08. The state’s rural roads have a traffic fatality rate that is more than double than the rate on all other roads in the state (1.24 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel versus 0.54). TRIP estimates that roadway features may be a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.

The efficiency and condition of Wisconsin’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $264 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Wisconsin and another $236 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Wisconsin, mostly by truck.

“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the local, state and federal levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without additional transportation funding Wisconsin transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, the state will miss WI_TRIP_Infographics_May_2016out on opportunities for economic growth and quality of life will suffer.”

WISCONSIN TRANSPORTATION

BY THE NUMBERS:

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and

Efficient Mobility

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Wisconsin

 

$6 billion

Driving on deficient roads costs Wisconsin motorists a total of $6 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
 

Madison: $2,072 Milwaukee: $2,060

 

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in Wisconsin’s largest urban areas in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. The average Madison area driver loses $2,072 annually, while each Milwaukee area driver loses $2,060.
2,743

13 %

62

A total of 2,743 people were killed in Wisconsin traffic crashes from 2011 to 2015. The number of traffic fatalities increased by approximately 13 percent between 2014 and 2015, increasing by 62 deaths from 494 to 556.
2 X The fatality rate on Wisconsin’s non-interstate rural roads is more than double that on all other roads in the state (1.24 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.54).
42% Statewide

68% Madison

56% Milwaukee

Statewide, 42 percent of Wisconsin’s major roads are in mediocre to poor condition. Sixty-eight percent of major roads in the Madison urban area are in mediocre to poor condition, while in the Milwaukee urban area 56 percent of major roads are in mediocre to poor condition.
$264 B

$236 B

Annually, $264 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Wisconsin and another $236 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Wisconsin, mostly by truck.
 

14%

A total of 14 percent of Wisconsin bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. Nine percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and five percent are functionally obsolete.
36 hours

38 hours

 

The average driver in the Madison area loses 36 hours to congestion annually, while each driver in the Milwaukee urban area loses 38 hours annually.
 

$274

33

A recent analysis by WisDOT found that the average Wisconsin motorists pays $274 annually in state and local registration-related fees and gas taxes, a level ranked 33rd nationally among states.
 

 

1,393,428

$54.8 B

$10 B

1,393,428 full-time jobs in Wisconsin in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are completely dependent on the state’s transportation infrastructure network. These workers earn $54.8 billion in wages and contribute an estimated $10 billion in state and local income, corporate and unemployment insurance taxes and the federal payroll tax.

 

 

Eight years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, Wisconsin’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in Wisconsin, which will be greatly impacted by the reliability and condition of the state’s transportation system, continues to have a significant impact on quality of life in the Badger State.

An efficient, safe and well-maintained transportation system provides economic and social benefits by affording individuals access to employment, housing, healthcare, education, goods and services, recreation, entertainment, family, and social activities. It also provides businesses with access to suppliers, markets and employees, all critical to a business’ level of productivity and ability to expand. Reduced accessibility and mobility – as a result of traffic congestion, a lack of adequate capacity, or deteriorated roads, highways, bridges and transit facilities – diminishes a region’s quality of life by reducing economic productivity and limiting opportunities for economic, health or social transactions and activities.

With an economy based largely on agriculture, food, paper and beverage production, manufacturing, health care, education and tourism, the quality of Wisconsin’s transportation system plays a vital role in the state’s economic growth and quality of life.

In this report, TRIP looks at the top transportation numbers in Wisconsin as the state addresses its need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit.

In December 2015 the president signed into law a long-term federal surface transportation program that includes modest funding increases and allows state and local governments to plan and finance projects with greater certainty through 2020. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) provides approximately $305 billion for surface transportation with highway and transit funding slated to increase by approximately 15 and 18 percent, respectively, over the five-year duration of the program. While the modest funding increase and certainty provided by the FAST Act are a step in the right direction, the funding falls far short of the level needed to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs and fails to deliver a

COST TO WISCONSIN MOTORISTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

An inadequate transportation system costs Wisconsin motorists a total of $6 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • TRIP estimates that Wisconsin roadways that lack some desirable safety features, have inadequate capacity to meet travel demands or have deteriorated pavement conditions cost the state’s residents approximately $6 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear), the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes.
  • TRIP has calculated the average cost to drivers in the state’s largest urban areas as a result of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features. The chart below details the costs to drivers statewide and in the Madison and Milwaukee urban areas.

WI 2POPULATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN WISCONSIN

The rate of population and economic growth in Wisconsin have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system.

  • Wisconsin’s population reached approximately 5.8 million residents in 2015, an eight percent increase since 2000.
  • Wisconsin had 4.2 million licensed drivers in 2014.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Wisconsin increased by five percent from 2000 to 2014 –from 57.3 billion VMT in 2000 to 60.1 billion VMT in 2014.
  • Vehicle miles of travel in Wisconsin in 2015 were 4.2 percent higher than in 2014. U.S. vehicle miles of travel in 2015 were 3.5 percent higher than in 2014.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Wisconsin is projected to increase by another 25 percent.
  • From 2000 to 2014, Wisconsin’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 18 percent, when adjusted for inflation. U.S. GDP increased 24 percent during this time.

WISCONSIN ROAD CONDITIONS

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in more than two-fifths of major locally and state-maintained roads and highways in Wisconsin having pavement surfaces in mediocre to poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorists in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • The pavement data in this report, which is for all arterial and collector roads and highways, is provided by the Federal Highway Administration, based on data submitted annually by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state.
  • Pavement data for Interstate highways and other principal arterials is collected for all system mileage, whereas pavement data for minor arterial and all collector roads and highways is based on sampling portions of roadways as prescribed by FHWA to insure that the data collected is adequate to provide an accurate assessment of pavement conditions on these roads and highways.
  • Statewide, 42 percent of Wisconsin’s major locally and state-maintained roads and highways are in mediocre to poor condition, while 39 percent are in fair condition and 19 percent are in good to excellent condition.
  • Roads rated in mediocre to poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes. In some cases, these roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed.
  • The chart below details pavement conditions on major locally and state-maintained urban roads in the Madison and Milwaukee urban areas:
  • WI 3Driving on rough roads costs Wisconsin motorists a total of $3.2 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. The average driver in the Madison urban area loses $974 annually, while in the Milwaukee urban area the average driver loses $861 each year as a result of driving on deteriorated roads. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

WISCONSIN BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Fourteen percent of locally and state-maintained bridges in Wisconsin show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length.

  • Nine percent of Wisconsin’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles.
  • Five percent of Wisconsin’s bridges are functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.
  • The chart below details bridge conditions statewide and in the Madison and Milwaukee urban areas:

WI 4HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN WISCONSIN

Improving safety features on Wisconsin’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in the state’s traffic fatalities and serious crashes. It is estimated that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.

  • A total of 2,743 people were killed in Wisconsin traffic crashes from 2011 to 2015.
  • The number of traffic fatalities in Wisconsin increased by approximately 13 percent between 2014 and 2015, increasing by 62 deaths from 494 to 556.
  • Wisconsin’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.84 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014 was lower than the national average of 1.08.
  • The fatality rate on Wisconsin’s non-interstate rural roads in 2014 was more than double that on all other roads in the state (1.24 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.54).
  • The chart below details the average number of fatalities from 2012 to 2014 in the Madison and Milwaukee areas, and the average cost per driver as a result of traffic crashes.
  • WI 5Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes. A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior).   TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over the next 20 years.

WISCONSIN TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Wisconsin, particularly in its larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce. Traffic congestion robs commuters of time and money and imposes increased costs on businesses, shippers and manufacturers, which are often passed along to the consumer.

  • Based on Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) estimates, the value of lost time and wasted fuel in Wisconsin is approximately $1.7 billion per year.
  • According to TTI, the average driver in the Madison urban area loses $911 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. The average Madison commuter wastes 36 hours each year stuck in traffic.
  • According to TTI, the average driver in the Milwaukee urban area loses $987 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. The average Milwaukee commuter wastes 38 hours each year stuck in traffic.
  • Increasing levels of congestion add significant costs to consumers, transportation companies, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers and can reduce the attractiveness of a location to a company when considering expansion or where to locate a new facility. Congestion costs can also increase overall operating costs for trucking and shipping companies, leading to revenue losses, lower pay for drivers and employees, and higher consumer costs.

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN WISCONSIN

Investment in Wisconsin’s roads, highways and bridges is funded by local, state and federal governments. The recently approved five-year federal surface transportation program includes modest funding increases and provides states with greater funding certainty, but falls far short of providing the level of funding needed to meet the nation’s highway and transit needs. The bill does not include a long-term and sustainable revenue source.

  • According to the 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report, a significant boost in investment in the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs.
  • AASHTO’s report found that based on an annual one percent increase in VMT annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase 36 percent, from $88 billion to $120 billion, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs, based on an annual one percent rate of vehicle travel growth. Investment in the nation’s public transit system needs to increase from $17 billion to $43 billion.
  • The Bottom Line Report found that if the national rate of vehicle travel increased by 1.4 percent per year, the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 64 percent to $144 billion. If vehicle travel grows by 1.6 percent annually the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 77 percent to $156 billion.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN WISCONSIN

The efficiency of Wisconsin’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses rely on an efficient and dependable transportation system to move products and services. A key component in business efficiency and success is the level and ease of access to customers, markets, materials and workers.

  • 1,393,428 full-time jobs in Wisconsin in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are completely dependent on the state’s transportation infrastructure network. These workers earn $54.8 billion in wages and contribute an estimated $10 billion in state and local income, corporate and unemployment insurance taxes and the federal payroll tax.
  • Annually, $264 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Wisconsin and another $236 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Wisconsin, mostly by truck.
  • Eighty-two percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Wisconsin are carried by trucks and another 14 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor in a 2015 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

Sources of information for this report include the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U.S. Census Bureau, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTS

DEWALT® Introduces New 4-in-1 Multi Functional Utility Bar

e8c7b192e4b0e5d3514471ab_1280x196DEWALT® introduces the new Multi-Functional Utility (MFU) Bar eliminating the need for multiple tools on the jobsite. Available in two sizes, the DEWALT® 30” and 40” MFU Bar is ideal for ripping, striking, prying, and scraping applications for renovators, deck builders, and contractors alike.

The MFU Bar features a hardened striking surface manufactured with 7/8” tri-lobe stock for durability, a gooseneck head for board grabbing, and an extra-wide pry end designed with precision ground edges.  While the MFU Bar can be used for prying applications, it also makes adjusting boards in the floor or a wall a simple task by providing a pivot leverage point, giving the user a mechanical advantage. The angled foot at the bottom of the MFU Bar also offers leverage while scraping or lifting during the demolition process. The nail puller located at the bottom of the bar helps remove stubborn nails with ease.

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The 30” DEWALT® Multi-Functional Utility Bar – model DWHT55292 – retails for approximately $24.98 and the 40” DEWALT® Multi-Functional Utility Bar – model DWHT55293 – retails for approximately $29.98.

 About DEWALT

DEWALT is a leading manufacturer of industrial corded and cordless power tools, power tool accessories, and hand tools in categories that include Woodworking, Drilling & Fastening, Concrete & Metal Power Tools, as well as Cutting, Abrasive, and IMPACT READY® Impact Driver Power Tool Accessories. Hand Tool categories include Measuring & Layout, Knives & Blades, Mechanics Tools, and Storage Solutions.

With seven manufacturing locations in the USA, DEWALT remains committed to domestic manufacturing and produced approximately 62 million individual units of Power Tools, Hand Tools, and Accessories in the United States with global materials in 2015 alone.

For more information visit: http://dewalt.com/

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Wells Fargo Reports: Existing Home Sales Gain in March

Wells_Fargo_Securities_logoOn the heels of a modest decline in February, existing home sales posted a 5.1 percent pickup in March. Inventory levels continue to report slight gains, which may help provide a lift to sales this spring.

Good First Quarter in the Books

  • Existing home sales rose 5.1 percent in March to a 5.33 million- unit rate, recouping the majority of February’s loss. While the month-to-month data tend to be more volatile, on a year-to- date basis, existing home sales are running 5.6 percent above their year-ago level.
  • The pickup in sales was led by large gains in the Northeast and Midwest, which rose 11.1 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively.

Even With Recent Gains, Inventory Remains Lean

  • The months’ supply of existing homes increased for the third consecutive month to 4.5 months and total inventory of existing homes available for sale rose 5.9 percent to 1.98 million units. While the pickup is encouraging, supply levels remain lean.
  • We look for existing home sales to rise roughly 4 percent by year- end 2016, as low mortgage rates and strengthening employment conditions are likely to support sales in the coming quarters.

Existing Home Sales Existing Home Sales Existing Home Sales Existing Home Sales

Wells Fargo Reports: Housing Starts Pull Back in March

Wells_Fargo_Securities_logoHousing starts tumbled 8.8 percent in March to a 1.09 million-unit rate, led by a 9.2 percent decline in single- family starts. Building permits also slipped on the month and are now running in line with the pace of starts.
Homebuilding Slows in March
• On the heels of February’s unseasonably large 6.9 percent gain, • housing starts fell 8.8 percent in March to a 1.09 million-unit pace. Weakness was broad based as both single and multifamily starts reported declines. Permits also slipped on the month, falling in line with the pace of starts.
• Despite the dip in building activity, on a year-to-date basis, single-family starts are up 22.2 percent.
Completions on the Rise
• The supply of new homes coming to the market has improved, as the number of homes completed and under construction both reported gains in March. This strengthening trend bodes well for new home sales, which have been held back by tight inventories.
• The housing market seems relatively well positioned heading into the spring home buying season. We expect housing starts to gain momentum in the year ahead, and cap 2016 up 11 percent.

Housing Starts Pull Back in March Housing Starts Pull Back in March Housing Starts Pull Back in March Housing Starts Pull Back in March