Monday, January 21 2013
Builders broke ground on new homes in December at the fastest pace in more than four years offering a “solid ending to 2012 and a promising start to 2013,” according to the National Association of Home Builders.
Housing starts soared 12.1 percent in December, reaching a 954,000 annual rate and the fastest pace since June 2008, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Most of the jump was attributed to a 20.3 percent increase in multifamily construction last month, helping the sector return to a nearly normal production pace by historical standards. Housing starts for single-family homes rose 8.1 percent in December.
"With inventories of new homes at razor thin levels, builders are moving prudently to break ground on new construction ahead of the spring buying season to meet increasing demand," says Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.
Permits for future home building — an indicator of future building — also rose slightly in December to its quickest pace since July 2008. Permits rose by the greatest amount in the Northeast by 19 percent and 6.6 percent in the West. The Midwest saw a 5.7 percent decline in housing permits, while the South saw a 3.4 percent decline in December.
Source: National Association of Home Builders and “Housing Starts Climb to Highest Rate Since June 2008,” Reuters (Jan. 17, 2013)
Monday, December 31 2012
New single-family home sales soared to its fastest pace in 2 1/2 years, jumping 4.4 percent over last month, as median prices also rose, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
The sales pace in November for new-home sales was the highest since April 2010, the same time when the federal home-buyer tax credit had expired, the Commerce Department reported.
The median home price of new homes jumped 14.9 percent year-over-year, reaching $246,200.
"New-home sales are gradually picking up momentum as the economy improves," says Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. "Prospective home buyers who have been sitting on the fence for years are moving back into the market due to continuing low mortgage interest rates, attractive pricing and the improving economy.”
NAHB is projecting new-home sales to post a nearly 20 percent increase for 2012 over the previous year. NAHB’s Chief Economist David Crowe says he also expects a similar gain next year, but the “fiscal cliff” could set the housing market back and affect new-home sales and other aspects of the housing market.
Still, the pace of new-home sales is about a quarter from the high reached in July 2005.
For the first time since 2005, new-home construction is expected to add to economic growth this year.
Source: National Association of Home Builders and “New Home Sales Hit Highest Rate Since April 2010,” Reuters (Dec. 27, 2012)
Friday, September 21 2012
Homebuilders haven’t been this confident about sales, the outlook of future sales, and buyer traffic since June 2006, which is right before the housing crisis took hold, a new index shows.
For September, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index, which measures builders’ outlook on current sales, future sales, and buyer demand, reached its highest level in six years. Plus, homebuilders expect the housing recovery to strengthen within the next six months.
Homebuilders say they’ve experienced some of the best sales levels they've had in six years, and buyer traffic has returned to May 2006 levels, the index shows.
"We think things have turned around and this recovery is sustainable," Patrick Newport, an economist with IHS Global Insight, told the Associated Press.
The index has been edging higher since last October, coinciding with reports that show sales and home prices inching up too.
Source: “Index of US Homebuilder Confidence Improves; Builders Anticipate Sales Strengthening into '13,” Associated Press (Sept. 18, 2012)
Wednesday, April 27 2011
The news coming out of the home construction industry is cautiously positive. We do not think that we have overcome all the problems and obstacles, but all indications are that new home construction rates are on the rise. The report below shows positive signs and we can only hope this trend will continue. - RT
New home construction is picking up just in time for the spring buying season, according to the latest new-home report released on Tuesday from the Commerce Department. Builders broke ground on more new homes in March than in the last six months.
Thursday, August 26 2010
New home construction edged up slightly in July but applications for building permits tumbled to the lowest point in 14 months, a sign of continued stress in housing.
Construction of new homes and apartments rose 1.7 percent in July, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Still, applications for building permits, considered a good sign of future activity, fell 3.1 percent.
A rebound in housing is considered critical for a sustained economic recovery. But builders continue to struggle with weak demand for new homes caused by high unemployment and a glut of foreclosed homes on the market.
The July increase in housing construction pushed total activity to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000 units. Building activity in June was weaker than first reported. It fell 8.7 percent to an annual rate of 537,000 units, the slowest pace since October of last year.
Housing construction got a boost earlier in the year when the government offered buyers up to $8,000 in federal tax credits. But after the incentives expired at the end of April, sales and constructions activity slumped.
Driving the July increase was a 32.6 percent surge in construction of apartments and condominiums, which jumped to an annual rate of 114,000 units. The bigger single-family sector declined 4.2 percent, falling to an annual rate of 432,000 units.
The drop in building permits left applications for new construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 565,000, the slowest pace since May 2009.
Construction activity surged 30.5 percent in the Northeast and was up 10.7 percent in the Midwest. However, construction fell 6.3 percent in the South and was flat in the West.
In advance of the report on housing starts, the National Association of Home Builders reported Monday that its monthly index of builder sentiment dropped to 13 in August. That was the lowest reading in 17 months. Readings below 50 indicate negative sentiment about the housing market.
The last time builders' index was above 50 was in April 2006.
Builders say consumers remain worried about the weak economic recovery and the sluggish jobs market. Among those who are buying, many are opting for deeply discounted foreclosed properties.
Wednesday, December 16 2009
Home building rose 8.9 percent in November to an annualized rate of 574,000, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Wednesday.