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Housing Sector Sets Some Records
New construction really dug in as November Housing Starts jumped, the Commerce Department reported. Starts rose 3.3 percent from October to an annual rate of 1.297 million units, above the 1.259 million units expected. Year over year, Housing Starts are up nearly 13 percent. Single-family starts, which account for the biggest share of the housing market, surged 5.3 percent from October to the highest level since September 2007. Single-family starts also were up 13 percent annually. Multi-dwelling units saw a slight gain of 0.8 percent month over month and an 11.1 percent gain annually.
Building Permits, a sign of future construction, fell 1.4 percent from October but were still above expectations.
Home builders are quite confident about housing market conditions. The December NAHB Housing Market Index jumped five points from November to 74, above the 70 expected. This was an 18-year high! The index is based on a monthly survey of National Association of Home Builders members, designed to take the pulse of the single-family housing market. The survey asks respondents to rate market conditions for the sale of new homes at the present time and in the next six months, as well as the traffic of prospective buyers of new homes.
Meanwhile, Existing Home Sales surged to an 11-year high in November, thanks in part to faster economic growth, record high Stock markets and a strong labor market. The National Association of REALTORS® reported that Existing Home Sales reached an annual rate of 5.81 million units, with three of the four major regions of the country producing gains. This was up 5.6 percent from October and up 3.8 percent from November 2016. Total inventory for sale, however, slumped nearly 10 percent from last year to just a 3.4-month supply. A normal inventory level is considered a 6-month supply. Finally, the median price for all types of homes was up 5.8 percent from November 2016.
At this time home loan rates remain near historically low levels. If you have any questions about home loan rates, refinancing or home loans, please reach out to me.
Enjoy this month's issue of YOU Magazine.
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