The Norris Group Blog

California Real Estate Headline Roundup

Posts Tagged ‘Department of Commerce’

By Bruce Norris .

The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 1/31/14

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Sources:

FDIC Marks Second Bank Collapse of 2014
HUD and Census Bureau Report New Residential Sales in December

Today’s News Synopsis:

This week’s video is a slideshow of highlights from the news of the week.  The homeownership rate decreased in the fourth quarter to 65.2%.  This comes with the increase in the cost to borrow and tighter credit.  U.S. mortgage securities backed by the government increased by 1.5%, the most since 2008.  The amount of vacant homes is still high in the marketplace despite tighter levels of housing inventory.

In The News:

DS News - “FHA to Accept e-Signatures on More Documents” (1-31-14)

“In its ongoing bid to modernize its processes, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has granted expanded authority to lenders to accept e-Signatures on loan documents.”

Housing Wire“America still has plenty of vacant homes” (1-31-14)

“Despite tighter housing inventory levels, the number of vacant homes in America remains somewhat elevated.  The overall year-round vacancy rate hit 10.2% when accounting for total housing units, while approximately 2.7 of the total units were for rent, the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau said.”

Bloomberg - “U.S. Homeownership Rate Falls on Highers Costs for Buyers” (1-31-14)

“The homeownership rate in the U.S. declined in the fourth quarter as higher borrowing costs and tight credit blocked many first-time buyers.”

CNN Money- “Goldman’s Blankfein gets $14.7 million in stock” (1-31-14)

“It’s another big CEO payday on Wall Street.  Goldman Sachs says CEO Lloyd Blankfein will receive shares in the firm currently worth $14.7 million, and that will be only part of his pay package.”

Housing Wire - “NY Court signs off on $8.5B BofA settlement over pooled mortgages” (1-31-14)

“After more than two years of legal wrangling, a New York judge signed off on a controversial $8.5 billion settlement between Bank of America (BAC) and The Bank of New York Mellon over toxic mortgage securities.”

Mortgage Professional America - “RealtyTrac names ’20 best places to buy foreclosures’” (1-31-14)

“Most large metro markets in the U.S. saw increased foreclosure activity in 2012, according to a report from foreclosure data aggregator RealtyTrac.”

Bloomberg- “Mortgage Bonds Poised for Biggest Gains Since 2008 in Reversal” (1-31-14)

“Government-backed U.S. mortgage securities are poised for their biggest monthly gains since 2008 after posting their first annual losses in 19 years, as investors seek havens amid turmoil in developing nations.”

Hard Money Loan Closed

Sun City, California hard money loan closed by The Norris Group private lending. Real estate investor received loan for $145,000 on a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home appraised for $240,000.

 

Bruce Norris of The Norris Group will be speaking at the 2014 Real Estate and Tax Strategies Kick-Off Brunch in Buena Park on Saturday, February 1, 2014.

Bruce Norris of The Norris Group will be presenting his Norris Group Property Buying Boot Camp in Riverside Tuesday through Thursday, February 4-6, 2014.

Bruce Norris of The Norris Group will be presenting his newest talk Secrets to Becoming Wealthy with OCREIA on Thursday, March 13, 2014.

Looking Back:

Freddie Mac reported mortgage rates increased for the second week in a row, with 30-year rates at 3.353%, their highest in four months.  The Lender Processing Services reported trends in delinquencies, which increased 0.7% month-over-month in December, foreclosure starts up from 4.8%, and negative equity.  The FHA announced that they will raise premiums by 0.1% on new mortgages.

For more information about The Norris Group’s California hard money loans or our California Trust Deed investments, visit the website or call our office at 951-780-5856 for more information. For upcoming California real estate investor training and events, visit The Norris Group website and our California investor calendar. You’ll also find our award-winning real estate radio show on KTIE 590am at 6pm on Saturdays or you can listen to over 170 podcasts in our free investor radio archive.

The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 1/15/13

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013


Today’s News Synopsis:

CoreLogic reported homes prices increased 7.4% last November to their highest in seven years.  An $8.5 billion foreclosure settlement with JP Morgan Chase has finally come to an end, but with it came the layoff of 839 employees.  The housing market is recovering faster than anyone originally thought, leading to many homeowners coming out from underwater.

In The News:

Housing Wire“Home prices up the most since 2006″ (1-15-13)

“Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, rose 7.4% year-over-year in November, according to the latest home price index from CoreLogic ($26.34 0%).”

DS News- “Retail Activity Beats December Forecasts” (1-15-13)

“Total retail sales rose 0.4 percent in December, the Department of Commerce reported Tuesday.”

Bloomberg- “Recovery in U.S. Saving 8 Million Underwater Homeowners” (1-15-13)

“The housing market is rebounding faster than anyone thought possible, according to Blackstone Group LP (BX)’s global head of real estate Jonathan Gray, as the Federal Reserve buys mortgage bonds to keep rates near record lows and investors sop up a diminishing supply of properties for sale.”

Inman- “New mortgage rules could crimp lending” (1-15-13)

“Though the new “ability to pay” (aka Qualified Mortgage or QM) rules released last week by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau drew extensive media coverage, there are still widespread misunderstandings about how they’ll work in practic.”

Housing Wire- “Carrington offers 203K loans for fixer-uppers” (1-15-13)

“Lender and servicer Carrington Mortgage Services has not been shy about expanding at a time when the basic nature of lending and servicing remains in transition.”

CNN Money“Construction jobs: Not quite a comeback yet” (1-15-13)

“Some construction firms expect to hire more workers in 2013, but don’t call it a comeback just yet.  About 31% of construction companies plan to hire workers this year, while only 9% of firms plan to cut jobs.”

Bloomberg- “Appraisal Standards for Higher-Risk Mortgages Approved by FDIC” (1-15-13)

“U.S. mortgage lenders will get an additional year to implement new appraisal standards for higher- risk loans after regulators revised the Dodd-Frank Act measure to address concerns raised by financial firms.”

DS News- “End of Foreclosure Review Leads to 839 Layoffs at JPMorgan” (1-15-13)

“The $8.5 billion foreclosure settlement on January 7 led to the conclusion of the Independent Foreclosure Review, and it also led to the layoff of more than 800 contract workers at JPMorgan Chase, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.”

Hard Money Loan Closed

Anaheim, California hard money loan closed by The Norris Group private lending. Real estate investor received loan for $210,000 on a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home appraised for $375,000.

 

Bruce Norris of The Norris Group will be presenting his newest talk Poised to Pop: Quadrant Four Has Arrived at the Apartment Owners Association on Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bruce Norris of The Norris Group will be presenting his newest talk Poised to Pop: Quadrant Four Has Arrived at the Buena Park Apartment Owners Association on Wednesday, January 23, 2013.

Bruce Norris of The Norris Group will be presenting his newest talk Poised to Pop: Quadrant Four Has Arrived at the Apartment Owners Association at the Scottish Rite Center on Thursday, January 24, 2013.

 

For more information about The Norris Group’s California hard money loans or our California Trust Deed investments, visit the website or call our office at 951-780-5856 for more information. For upcoming California real estate investor training and events, visit The Norris Group website and our California investor calendar. You’ll also find our award-winning real estate radio show on KTIE 590am at 6pm on Saturdays or you can listen to over 170 podcasts in our free investor radio archive.

The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 4/30/12

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Today’s News Synopsis:

The number of closed banks is now at 22 with the closure of five more banks last Friday.  The home ownership rate is at its lowest in 15 years at 65.5%, while at the exact same time the number of families renting is now at its highest in 15 years, showing that more people are renting than buying.  The decision to allow principal reduction on mortgages provided by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is being postponed by the FHFA.

In The News:

Bloomberg“Debt ‘Bubble’ in Property Is Like 2007, Sterlicht Says” (4-30-12)

“Competition to buy high-quality commercial real estate has led to a debt “bubble” in some U.S. property sectors, said Barry Sternlicht, chief executive officer of Starwood Capital Group LLC.”

DS News“Regulators Shut Down Five Banks Friday, Raising 2012 Tally to 22″ (4-30-12)

“After what seemed to be a slow month for bank closings, with just one closing April 20 for the entire month, the FDIC announced five bank closings Friday, raising the national tally of failed banks to 22 so far this year.”

Realty Times“Real Estate Outlook: Sales Declined in March “ (4-30-12)

“Good weather and a drop in unemployment aren’t having the positive affect on home sales that builders would like. According to the latest figures from HUD and the U.S. Commerce Department, the sales of newly built, single-family homes declined 7.1 percent for the month of March.”

Housing Wire“FHFA delays principal reduction ruling” (4-30-12)

“The Federal Housing Finance Agency delayed its decision to allow principal reduction on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages.  American Banker first reported the development Friday. A spokesperson confirmed the delay.”

DS News“Homeownership Rate Falls to 15-Year Low” (4-30-12)

“The nation’s homeownership rate (seasonally adjusted) dropped to 65.5 percent in the first quarter, its lowest level since the first quarter of 1997, the Census Bureau reported Monday.”

Inman“Zillow’s new Android app only for rentals” (4-30-12)

“Property search and valuation site Zillow today released its first mobile application devoted solely to rentals.”

Housing Wire“American family rentals reach 15-year high” (4-30-12)

“The nation’s rental and homeowner housing vacancy rates declined in the first quarter as supply conditions in the rental sector tightened and the proportion of families renting reached a 15-year high.”

Wall Street Journal“Housing Ends Slide but Faces a Long Bottom” (4-30-12)

“Nearly six years after home prices started falling, more U.S. housing markets appear to be nearing a new phase: a prolonged bottom.  Hitting a bottom, of course, isn’t the same as a full-fledged recovery, which is still years off for many housing markets—as well as for millions of people who purchased homes or took cash out during the bubble.”

DS News“Consumer Spending Slows Sharply in March; Savings Rate Edges Up” (4-30-12)

“Consumer spending grew just 0.3 percent in March, down from the 0.9 percent growth in February, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Monday.”

Housing Wire“Federal Reserve: Banks to increase real estate loan exposure” (4-30-12)

“Borrower demand for prime residential mortgage loans is strengthening, causing some banks to anticipate increasing their exposure to such loans over the next year.

Bloomberg“Fed Says Banks Eased Loan Standards As Demand Increased” (4-30-12)

“U.S. banks saw increased demand for lending in the first quarter and made loans easier to get, according to a Federal Reserve survey.”

Hard Money Loan Closed

Loma Linda, California hard money loan closed by The Norris Group private lending. Real estate investor received loan for $105,000 on a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home appraised for $167,000.

California Real Estate Investor Events:

The Norris Group posted a new event. Bruce Norris of The Norris Group will be at the Real Estate Investor Rewind for SJREI at Dublin on Wednesday, May 02, 2012.

The Norris Group posted a new event. Bruce Norris of The Norris Group will be at the Real Estate Investor Rewind for SJREI at South Bay on Thursday, May 03, 2012.

The Norris Group posted a new event. Bruce Norris of The Norris Group will be at the All in or Fold in Northern California on Saturday, May 05, 2012.

For more information about The Norris Group’s California hard money loans or our California Trust Deed investments, visit the website or call our office at 951-780-5856 for more information. For upcoming California real estate investor training and events, visit The Norris Group website and our California investor calendar. You’ll also find our award-winning real estate radio show on KTIE 590am at 6pm on Saturdays or you can listen to over 170 podcasts in our free investor radio archive.

The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 3/29/12

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Today’s News Synopsis:

The Department of Commerce reported GDP increased 3% in the fourth quarter.  30-year mortgage rates decreased after being at a five-month high.  Jobless claims decreased by 5,000 to 359,000 last week, the lowest it has been in four years.  A recent report from CoreLogic showed completed foreclosures also decreased last month.

In The News:

Wall Street Journal“No-Frills Luxury for Condos” (3-28-12)

“When units at the Citizen, an unassuming building in Chelsea, hit the market next week, their developer won’t tout the private Jacuzzis or imported Italian marble.  Instead—at a time when over-the-top luxury condos with $80 million-plus price tags are grabbing headlines—Anbau Enterprises is gambling it can succeed by giving buyers less, not more.”

Housing Wire“Fourth-quarter GDP grows 3%” (3-29-12)

“U.S. gross domestic product grew 3% in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the Department of Commerce’s third and final report for the quarter. That figure is consistent with the department’s second estimate for the period.”

Bloomberg“Mortgage Rates for 30-Year U.S. Loans Fall From Five-Month High” (3-29-12)

“Mortgage rates for 30-year U.S. loans fell from an almost five-month high, lowering borrowing costs as the housing market gains strength.”

DS News“Initial Unemployment Claims Drop To New Four Year Low” (3-29-12)

“First time claims for unemployment insurance fell 5,000 to 359,000 for the week ended March 24, the Labor Department reported Thursday.”

Inman“Trulia: Most popular U.S. cities for international house hunters” (3-29-12)

Real estate search and marketing company Trulia analyzed its 2011 search traffic to determine its largest sources of visitors outside of the U.S., and also to determine which U.S. markets are most popular among those international visitors.”

Housing Wire“Investors, vacation dwellers stimulate home buying activity” (3-29-12)

“Investment and vacation home sales surged in 2011 as more investors jumped into the market with cash in hand to acquire distressed and affordable properties, the National Association of Realtors said.”

San Francisco Chronicle“U.S. Stocks Decline as Jobless Claims Top Economists’ Estimates” (3-29-12)

“U.S. stocks declined for a third straight day after American jobless claims topped economists’ projections and Standard & Poor’s said Greece may need to restructure its debt again.”

Bloomberg- “Geithner’s Math Puzzle Beyond Numbers for DeMarco: Mortgages” (3-29-12)

“Timothy F. Geithner is giving Edward J. DeMarco, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s overseer, some math homework. For DeMarco, it’s more of a psychology question.  Geithner, the U.S. Treasury secretary, is offering new incentive payments to the two government-supported mortgage financiers if DeMarco drops his opposition to principal reductions for homeowners whose loans are backed by the companies.”

Realtor Magazine“Housing is ‘Awakening From Hibernation’ Freddie Says” (3-29-12)

“An improving economy is contributing to a gradual rebound in home prices across the country, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac’s 2012 Economic Outlook report, released Wednesday. But there is still a way to go in the road to recovery for the housing market, the report noted.”

DS News“CoreLogic: Number of Completed Foreclosures Down for February” (3-29-12)

“The number of completed foreclosures in February 2012 was down on a monthly basis and slightly on a year-over-year comparison, but overall, foreclosure inventory has decreased compared to a year ago, according to CoreLogic’s National Foreclosure report for February.”

DS News“Report: Auto Loan and Credit Cards Paid Before Mortgage” (3-29-12)

“In 2011, consumers with at least one open bankcard, auto loan, and mortgage are more likely to try and stay current on their car payment then keep up with their monthly house payment or credit card bills, according to a TransUnion study.”

Hard Money Loan Closed

Hemet, California hard money loan closed by The Norris Group private lending. Real estate investor received loan for $59,000 on a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home appraised for $95,000.

California Real Estate Investor Events:

The Norris Group posted a new event. Bruce Norris of The Norris Group will be at The Women’s Council of Realtors Victorville on Wednesday, April 11, 2012.

The Norris Group posted a new event. Bruce Norris of The Norris Group will be at All In or Fold on Saturday, April 28, 2012.

Looking Back:

The Associated General Contractors of America reported California ranked 18th in year over year economic improvement. According to LPS, Option ARM foreclosures  represented 18.8% of foreclosure inventory. The Congressional Oversight Panel estimated HAMP would avert only 800,000 foreclosures. Statistics from S&P showed home prices decreased 3.1% year over year.

For more information about The Norris Group’s California hard money loans or our California Trust Deed investments, visit the website or call our office at 951-780-5856 for more information. For upcoming California real estate investor training and events, visit The Norris Group website and our California investor calendar. You’ll also find our award-winning real estate radio show on KTIE 590am at 6pm on Saturdays or you can listen to over 170 podcasts in our free investor radio archive.

The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 8/6/10

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Sources:
http://www.housingwire.com/2010/08/05/weekl-jobless-claims-rise-more-than-expected-to-479000
http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2010/08/pending_ease
http://www.housingwire.com/2010/08/03/zillow-rate-on-30-year-mortgage-drops-to-record-low-week-to-week
http://www.housingwire.com/2010/08/06/aig-losses-return-in-q210-on-continued-wind-down-efforts
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2010/08/home-loan-rates-decline-again-as-inflation-fears-abate.html
http://www.mbaa.org/NewsandMedia/PressCenter/73603.htm
http://www.dsnews.com/articles/congress-passes-bill-increasing-fha-premiums-2010-08-05
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-04/u-s-consumer-bankruptcy-filings-rose-9-percent-in-july-from-previous-year.html
http://www.reoi.com/news/fannies-reo-volume-doubles-on-mounting-foreclosures-and-longer-disposition-times
http://www.dsnews.com/articles/ahead-of-earnings-gses-scale-back-housing-forecasts-2010-08-05
http://www.reoi.com/wp-content/uploads/Fannie-REO.jpg
http://www.reoi.com/wp-content/uploads/Fannie-REO-by-State.jpg

Today’s News Synopsis:

Non-farm payrolls decreased by 131,000 in July, according to the Department of Labor. HUD’s secretary announced a new program, which will allow borrowers to refinance on underwater mortgages. Barclay’s Capital is taking back their previous estimate of a double dip recession, and now believes we will experience ‘moderate growth’. One-third of U.S. citizens are renting, and more than 14% live in a rental apartment.

In The News:

Housing Wire“U.S. Payrolls Shed More than Expected, Dropping 131,000 in July” (8-6-10)

“Total non-farm payrolls declined by 131,000 in July, worse than a market consensus decline of 70,000. According to the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the firings of temporary workers after 2010 Census efforts edged up to 143,000 in July, declined from 225,000 Census layoffs a month earlier.”

Housing Wire“HUD Secretary Donovan: Refinancing Program Coming ‘Very Soon’” (8-6-10)

“According to a mortgee letter sent out today, the new program would provide additional refinancing options to underwater homeowners starting Sept. 7. To be eligible for the new loan, the homeowner must be underwater but still current on the mortgage. A credit score of 500 or better is required, and the borrower’s existing first-lien holder must agree to write at least 10% of the unpaid principal balance.”

Housing Wire“Barclays Capital Calls off Double-Dip Recession” (8-6-10)

“Analysts at Barclays Capital believe the latest data on the US economy leans more toward ‘moderating growth’ in the last half of 2010, rather than an outright double-dip. Last week’s real gross domestic product (GDP) in the US, which measures the output of goods and services produced by the country’s labor force, grew 2.4% in Q210 from last year, according to the US Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).”

Housing Wire“Apartment Rentals Hit Record Highs in 2010, as More Americans Shun Homeownership” (8-6-10)

“Currently one-third of Americans rent their housing, and over 14% live in a rental apartment. The NMHC represents the interests of rental property investors, such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Stewart Title and Starwood, to name a few.”

Housing Wire - “Navy Federal Introduces 100 Percent Mortgage to Make $7bn Origination Goal” (8-6-10)

“The world’s largest credit union said it’s prepared to originate $7bn in mortgage and refinance originations in 2010, and announced it will offer 100% financing to its members for loans up $650,000. Navy Federal Credit Union said it originated more than $6.2bn in mortgages and refinance loans in 2009. The Virginia-based credit union is the world’s largest, both in terms of total assets ($40bn) and membership (3.4m). Navy Federal serves all current and former Department of Defense military and civilian personnel and their families.”

Housing Wire“Consumer Credit Down for Fifth Straight Month 0.7 Percent For June” (8-6-10)

“Americans are not in the mood to spend as consumer credit outstanding fell once again in June, according to the Federal Reserve, marking the fifth consecutive month of declines. The benchmark fell $1.3bn, or 0.7%, to $2.418trn due mostly to a $4.5bn, or 6.5%, drop in revolving credit, such as credit cards. Non-revolving credit, which includes mortgages, auto loans, and student loans, rose 2.4% to $1.592bln.”

For more information about The Norris Group’s California hard money loans or our California Trust Deed investments, visit the website or call our office at 951-780-5856 for more information. For upcoming California real estate investor training and events, visit The Norris Group website and our California investor calendar. You’ll also find our award-winning real estate radio show on KTIE 590am at 6pm on Saturdays or you can listen to over 170 podcasts in our free investor radio archive.

The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 2/1/10

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Today’s News Synopsis:

The MBA reported there is a $1.45 trillion balance of outstanding mortgages held by non-bank investors. SIGTARP predicted a second housing bubble. Fannie Mae’s mortgage delinquency rate increased to5.29% in November 2009. U.S. home construction spending decreased by 2.7 percent in December.

In The News:

Mortgage Bankers Association -Only 13 Percent of Non-Bank Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Debt to Mature in 2010; Seven Percent in 2011″ (2-1-10)

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released the results of its 2009 Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Survey of Loan Maturity Volumes. The survey indicates that the volume of commercial and multifamily mortgage debt maturing in 2010 and 2011 is relatively low.  Of the $1.45 trillion balance of outstanding mortgages held by non-bank investors, only 13 percent of the total ($183.9 billion) will mature in 2010 and 7 percent ($99.8 billion) in 2011.  The survey also found that maturities vary considerably by the type of investor holding the loan.”

Mortgage Bankers AssociationWells Fargo/Wachovia, PNC/Midland and Berkadia Lead National Rankings of Commercial/Multifamily Servicing Volumes” (2-1-10)

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its year-end ranking of commercial and multifamily mortgage servicers as of the end of December 31, 2009.  On top of the list of firms is Wells Fargo/Wachovia Bank with $473.8 billion in U.S. master and primary servicing, followed by PNC Real Estate/Midland Loan Services with $322.9 billion, Berkadia Commercial Mortgage with $217.9 billion, Bank of America Merrill Lynch with $131.7 billion, KeyBank Real Estate Capital with $128.5 billion, and GEMSA Loan Services LP with $102.3 billion.”

Housing WireSIGTARP Warns of Second Housing Bubble” (2-1-10)

“The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), which oversees the federal government’s economic recovery program, called for reform to prevent government bailouts in the future and warned of a government-induced second housing bubble.”

Housing Wire“Officials Contend FHA is Going to be OK” (2-1-10)

“Despite a huge growth in business over the past few years, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) says its huge portfolio, now worth $750bn, is safely managed as the firm becomes comfortable with dealing with risk.”

Housing Wire - “VIEWPOINT: Waiting for the Fed to Withdraw” (2-1-10)

“The Fed will end the program by March 31 at $1.25trn. There is still chatter, however, about what circumstances would prompt the Fed to resume MBS purchases after March 31. It boils down to two things: a substantial re-weakening in home sales and prices or an excessive spike in mortgage rates.”

Housing Wire“Fannie Mae Serious Mortgage Delinquencies Rise Above 5%” (2-1-10)

“The government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) Fannie Mae (FNM: 1.03 +7.29%) reported a serious delinquency rate for its mortgage portfolio of 5.29% in November 2009, the latest month of data, the highest in recent memory. That number grew from 4.98% in October and more than doubled the 2.13% in November 2008, according to its monthly summary.”

Bloomberg - “MetLife Cut by Fitch on Commercial Real Estate Losses” (2-1-10)

“MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer, was downgraded by Fitch Ratings on the prospect of losses tied to investments including commercial real estate holdings.”

Inman - “Home construction down in December” (2-1-10)

“The rate of U.S. home construction spending nationwide fell year-over-year and month-to-month in December, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce. Spending for December dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $268.7 billion, a 2.7 percent drop from $276.2 billion the month before, and a 10.3 percent drop from $299.4 billion in December 2008. This rate is a projection of a monthly spending total over a 12-month period, adjusted to reflect typical seasonal fluctuations in construction activity.”