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Other Industry News > Housing
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July housing starts rebound
U.S. housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,093,000 units in July, 15.7% above the revised June rate and 21.7% higher than the July 2013 estimate, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Single-family starts in July were at a SAAR of 656,000 units, 8.3% above the revised June figure. Privately owned units authorized by permits were at a SAAR of 1,052,000, 8.1% higher than the revised June estimate and 7.7% above the July 2013 rate. For more, click here...
Builder confidence maintained upward trend in August
Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes increased two points to a reading of 55 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for August. Any reading higher than 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor. A third consecutive monthly gain brings the index to its highest level since January. "As the employment picture brightens, builders are seeing a noticeable increase in the number of serious buyers entering the market," said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. For more, click here...
Fixed mortgage rates edge lower
Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 4.12% for the week ending August 14, down from last week's average of 4.14%, according to Freddie Mac. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.40%. The 15-year FRM averaged 3.24% this week, down from last week's average of 3.27%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.44%. One-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 2.36% this week, up from last week's average of 2.35%. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 2.67%. For more, click here...
Canada's New Housing Price Index edges upward
Canada's New Housing Price Index rose 0.2% in June, up slightly from the 0.1% gain observed in May, according to Statistics Canada. The increase was largely the result of higher new home prices in Ontario. For more, click here...
Increasing home values affect housing affordability
Housing affordability nationwide dipped in the second quarter as several markets saw a firming of home prices, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index. In all, 62.6% of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of April and the end of June were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $63,900. This is down from the 65.5% of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the first quarter. For more, click here...
Mortgage applications decrease in latest survey
Mortgage applications decreased 2.7% from a week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending August 8. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.7% from a week earlier. The refinance component of the index decreased 4% from the previous week, to its lowest level since May 2014. The seasonally adjusted purchase component of the index decreased 1% to its lowest level since February. The unadjusted purchase index decreased 2% compared with the previous week and was 10% lower than the same week a year ago. For more, click here...
Soft landing forecast for Canadian housing
According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.'s third-quarter 2014 Housing Market Outlook, housing activity will continue to be supported by economic and demographic fundamentals for the rest of 2014 and into 2015. "Recent trends have shown an increase in housing starts, which is broadly supported by demographic fundamentals," said Bob Dugan, chief economist for CMHC. "However, our latest forecast calls for starts to edge lower as builders are expected to reduce inventories instead of focusing on new construction." On an annual basis, housing starts are forecast to range between 179,600 and 189,900 units in 2014, with a point forecast of 184,800 units. In 2015, starts are expected to range from 163,000 to 203,200 units, with a point forecast of 183,100 units. For more, click here...
Home price gains decelerate
Home price growth continued to moderate in many metro areas in the second quarter, and national year-over-year price appreciation is now at its slowest pace since 2012, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. The median existing single-family home price increased in 71% of measured markets, with 122 out of 173 metropolitan statistical areas showing gains based on closings in the second quarter compared with the second quarter of 2013. The national median existing single-family home price in the second quarter was $212,400, up 4.4% from the second quarter of 2013. For more, click here...
Canadian housing starts rose in July
The trend measure of housing starts in Canada reached 189,784 units in July compared to 185,952 in June, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts. The stand-alone monthly SAAR was 200,098 units in July, a slight increase from 198,665 units in June. For more, click here...
Canadian building permits jump
Contractors took out building permits worth $C8.0 billion in June, up 13.5% from May, according to Statistics Canada. The June increase was mainly due to higher construction intentions for institutional and industrial buildings in Quebec, and commercial buildings in Alberta. In the residential sector, the value of permits edged up 0.4% to $C4.2 billion, a fourth consecutive monthly gain. For more, click here...
Housing recovery continues at slow pace -- NAHB
Markets in 56 of about 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their normal levels of economic and housing activity, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index. This represents a year-over-year gain of seven markets. The index's nationwide score moved up slightly to .89, meaning that based on current permit, price, and employment data, the nationwide average is running at 89% of normal economic and housing activity. Meanwhile, 78% of markets have shown an improvement year over year. For more, click here...
NAHB documents effect of home price increase
Each $1,000 increase in the cost of a new, median-priced home forces 206,000 prospective buyers out of the marketplace, according to a new study by the National Association of Home Builders. The number of households affected varies across states and metro areas and largely depends on their population, income distribution, and new home prices. "This study highlights the real effects that building regulations have on housing affordability," said NAHB Chairman David Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. "Local, state, and federal government officials need to know that higher regulatory costs have real consequences for working American families." For more, click here...
Pending home sales slip in June
After three consecutive months of solid gains, pending home sales slowed modestly in June, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, declined 1.1% to a reading of 102.7 in June. The index is 7.3% below its reading of June 2013. Despite June's decrease, the index remains higher than 100 -- considered an average level of contract activity -- for a second consecutive month after failing to reach the mark since November 2013. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the market is stabilizing, but ongoing challenges are impeding full sales potential. For more, click here...
June housing starts fall
U.S. housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 893,000 units in June, 9.3% below the revised May rate but 7.5% higher than the June 2013 estimate, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Single-family starts in June were at a SAAR of 575,000 units, 9.0% below the revised May figure. Privately owned housing units authorized by permits were at a SAAR of 963,000 units, 4.2% below the May rate but 2.7% above the June 2013 estimate. For more, click here...
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