Lowest Housing Starts Since World War II
“So with population at 312 million in the U.S. today and rising by 3 million each year, housing starts are on track to be lower than when the U.S. population was only half its current size, more than 50 years ago.”
— Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at National Association of Realtors®, Sept. 15, 2011, Economist Commentaries
The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for August 2011:
Although starts were again disappointing, down 5.8 percent year over year, permits taken in August exceeded analysts’ predictions, up 7.8 percent over August 2010. Housing completions (623,000 units) continued its lackluster, ho-hum pace — down just 2.7 percent from July, but up just 2.6 percent over last year. Meanwhile, the White House shifts to class warfare on economic and fiscal policy, and shoves housing to the back burner again.
Sixteen new lows for new-housing set in July.
July has traditionally been one of the busiest months of the year for Housing says Tom Blumer at BizzyBlog but the new-home industry is still sliding downwards almost three years after TARP. Blumer chronicles 16 new lows that new-housing set this month since supposedly emerging from the “great recession.”
Business activity in the Fourth District expands but a slower rate since last report weighed down by weak Housing Market.
“New-home construction remains at a low level, with only two of our contacts reporting an uptick in sales during June. Purchases were mainly in the move-up buyer categories. Contractors expect that single-family construction will remain depressed until potential buyers can more easily sell their existing homes and the job market begins to gain some traction. List prices of new homes held steady, while the use of discounting grew. Upward pressure on the cost of building materials was reported by almost all of our contacts. Spec inventories were reduced further relative to year-ago levels. General contractors continue to work with lean crews, and no hiring is expected in the near term. Many subcontractors are struggling to stay in business and are bidding jobs below cost.”
- Beige Book, Fourth District–Cleveland, July 2011
New construction of U.S. houses spiked in June to their highest level in five months, said the Commerce Department.
Production far outpaced economists’ predictions; but don’t start the celebration just yet.
Nationwide housing starts rose 14.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 629,000 units in June, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department. This was the best pace of housing production since the beginning of the year, and was attributable to significant gains registered in both the single-family and multifamily segments as well as every region of the country.
US Housing Starts grew by 560,000; Building Permits by 612,000 in May. Poll shows nearly three-quarters of those who do not now own a home consider home-ownership a goal.
Perhaps builder’s pent up pessimism is a shade over the top. US Housing Starts managed to grow by 3.5 percent to 560,000 units in May, compared with 541,000 in April, according to the Census Bureau official publication. It is a higher reading than the forecasted 540,000 and at least partially offsets the large decline posted in April.
Building Permits, too, grew by 612,000 in May, following 563,000 in April, exceeding expectations of a 552,000 increase.
US Housing Markets Remain Mired as Many Buyers Remain on the Sidelines
With millions of owners stuck in homes worth less than they owe on their mortgages, existing home sales remain depressed while new home sales continue near record lows, concludes The State of the Nation’s Housing report released today by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Elevated vacancies and foreclosures continue to place downward pressure on prices. In places where foreclosures are concentrated, property markets are in turmoil. Indeed, just 10 percent of neighborhoods across the U.S. account for nearly half of all foreclosures in 2010.
Housing Starts Fall 10.6 Percent in April. Homes under construction (418,000) lowest on record since 1970. Permits lowest since April of 1959.
Nationwide housing starts fell 10.6 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 523,000 units as concerns regarding competition from foreclosures, a lack of consumer confidence in the housing market and the inability to secure production credit caused builders to slow production, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Commerce Department.
Housing starts showed the steepest monthly decline in nearly 27 years and new building permits set a record low.
Nationwide housing starts and issuance of permits for new housing construction both posted disappointing declines in February as concerns about a growing number of factors caused builders to pull back on production of new homes, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Commerce Department.
Is the housing market any closer to recovery?
Yesterday the news media was quick to jump all over a report from the U.S. Commerce Department that housing starts rose 14.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 596,000 units in January. The news sounds great until we analyze just what actually did happen.
Although housing starts declined to slowest pace since October of 2009, permits issued in December showed an enormous monthly increase of 16.7 percent. However…
Nationwide housing starts declined 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000 units in the final month of 2010, according to newly released figures by the U.S. Commerce Department. While this was the slowest pace of starts activity since October 2009, the year-end data indicate that production of new homes improved 6.1 percent in 2010 from the previous year.