New housing starts on private residences in November came in 3% below the October estimate of 888,000 starts, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. While the estimated percentage was not met, analysts with Econoday, an economy announcement company said, “the November slowdown is a minor pullback after strong gains the prior two months.” Econoday analysts suggested the recent decrease in housing starts can be blamed on slow construction in many areas. Building permits grew in November with 899,000 permits filed, a 3.6% increase from October and 26.8% from last year with 709,000 filings. There were 677,000 housing completions in November, 16.1% above the November 2011 rate of 583,000 housing completions. More here
The sales pace of new homes sold in October was virtually unchanged from the month before, according to estimates jointly released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales were down 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 368,000, but remain 17.2 percent above last year’s estimate of 314,000. The month’s totals were affected by a significant drop in activity in the Northeast, which was hit by Hurricane Sandy. The median sales price of new houses sold in October was $237,700; the average sales price was $278,900. Also, there was a 4.8 month supply of new homes available for sale at the end of the month. More here and here.
Figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development show privately owned housing starts up 3.6 percent in October, which puts them 41.9 percent above last year’s rate. The improvement beat economists’ expectations and helped new residential construction hit its highest rate in more than four years. Building permits, on the other hand, slipped from September, falling 2.7 percent. Despite the dip, they are still up nearly 30 percent above last year’s rate. Also, single-family authorizations posted a 2.2 percent improvement in October. More here and here.
Each month, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development release a housing scorecard that highlights key market data and the results of federal recovery efforts. In October, the scorecard found positive price trends, low inventory, high affordability, increases in sales, and mortgage rates near record lows. Federal foreclosure prevention and mortgage modification programs have resulted in more than one million permanent HAMP modifications, saving homeowners a median of $541 on their monthly mortgage payment. Despite the strength of recent housing data, however, the report also cautions that the recovery will take place over time due to continued fragility in the market. Still, more than 18 million homeowners have refinanced their loans since April 2009 and home equity posted a sharp gain in the second quarter of this year. More here.
In September, new home sales reached their highest level since April 2010, when they were boosted by the homebuyer tax credit. According to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales of new single-family homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000, which is up 5.7 percent from August and 27.1 percent from last year’s estimate of 306,000. The median sales price of new houses sold in September was $242,400; the average price was $292,400. Median price is now 11.7 percent above year before levels. At the current sales pace, there was a 4.5-month supply of new homes for sale at the end of the month. More here and here.
Estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development show housing starts and building permits both surged in September. Privately-owned housing starts jumped 15 percent above the revised August estimate of 758,000 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000. The improvement puts new residential construction 34.8 percent above last year’s level. Additionally, single-family housing starts were up 11 percent for the month. Building permits, which are an indicator of future activity, also saw large gains in September. Permits were up 11.6 percent for the month and are now 45.1 percent above last September’s estimate. Single-family authorizations rose 6.7 percent. More here and here.
Recent market data shows signs of a strengthening recovery, according to the latest housing scorecard released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The administration’s housing scorecard tracks key data and follows the progress of federal foreclosure-prevention programs. Erika Poethig, HUD’s acting assistant secretary, said the results of the September scorecard indicate that the housing market is showing important signs of recovery. Among the highlights, homeowner equity rose to its highest level since the third quarter of 2008, lifting 1.3 million families above water on their mortgages. Also, existing-home sales are now at their strongest pace in two years. Despite the recent positive turn, the report cautions that there is still fragility in the market and that the recovery will take place over time. More here and here.
In August, sales of new single-family homes were 0.3 percent below July’s upwardly revised annual rate of 374,000, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. New home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 373,000, which is 27.7 percent above last year’s level. But though sales were relatively flat month-over-month, median price rose significantly, climbing 11.2 percent and setting a record for the largest one-month gain. The median sales price of new houses sold during the month was $256,900; the average sales price was $295,300. Also, there was a 4.5-month supply of new homes available for sale at the end of August. More here and here.
The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development released their new home sales estimates for July. According to the data, sales of newly built single-family homes rose 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 372,000. June’s rate was was revised upward to 359,000. New home sales are now 25.3 percent higher than they were a year ago, further evidence of improvement in the market and gaining consumer confidence. The median sales price of new homes sold in July was $224,200; the average price was $263,200. At the current sales pace, there was a 4.6-month supply of new houses available for sale at the end of July. More here and here.
Nearly 74 percent of all new and existing homes sold during the second quarter of this year were affordable to a family earning the national median income of $65,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders Housing Opportunity Index. But though that’s high by historical standards, it’s down from a record 77.5 percent of homes during the first quarter. Barry Rutenberg, NAHB’s chairman, said the decline in affordability is a positive development because it’s another signal that the housing recovery is taking root, which should lend confidence to buyers and sellers in the current market. In 92 percent of the metros covered by the index, prices were up from the first quarter of this year. The most affordable major housing markets during the second quarter included Youngstown and Dayton, Ohio; Buffalo, N.Y.; Indianapolis, Ind.; and Modesto, Calif. More here and here.