Home Construction Rises, as Do Building Permits

By Reuters (source: New York Times)

WASHINGTON — Builders began construction of single-family homes at a faster pace in August, and building permits for construction hit a five-year high, pointing to resilience in the housing market recovery in the face of higher mortgage rates.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that construction starts on single-family homes surged 7 percent to an annual rate of 628,000 units last month, the highest level in six months. Single-family homes are by far the largest segment of the market.

Single-Family Production Pushes Housing Starts Up in August

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 - Led by a solid increase in single-family starts, nationwide housing production rose 0.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000 units in August, according to figures released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, construction of multifamily buildings slowed following a rebound in the previous month.

 "Overall, this is an encouraging report as builders are seeing pent-up demand begin to be released for single-family homes despite headwinds such as rising mortgage rates and tight credit conditions," said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C.

Take the big stress out of a big move

By Carla Fried, NEW YORK (Source: Money Magazine)

After living in Frederick, Md., since long before they were married, Lauren and Greg Martin decided this spring it was time to move on.

The couple's plan was to be near Boulder, where they had spent many happy vacations mountain biking and snowboarding. So Lauren, a personal trainer, and Greg, a communications engineer who telecommutes, sold their Maryland home, going from listing to a signed contract in only 10 days.

Housing Starts Rise 5.9 Percent in July

by NAHB - WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 - Nationwide housing starts rose 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000 units in July as multifamily construction rebounded from a dip in the previous month, according to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, single-family construction recorded a modest decline from a rate that was upwardly revised for the previous month.

"Builders are making every effort to keep up with the rising demand for new homes and apartments, and construction in both sectors is running well ahead of the pace we saw at this time last year," noted Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. "However, ongoing issues with accessing credit and limited supplies of finished lots and labor are making it tough to do that, particularly for single-family builders."

Builder Confidence Rises Three Points in August

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 - Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose three points to 59 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for August, released today. This fourth consecutive monthly gain brings the index to its highest level in nearly eight years.

"Builders are seeing more motivated buyers walk through their doors than they have in quite some time," said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. "What's more, firming home prices and thinning inventories of homes for sale are contributing to an increased sense of urgency among those who are in the market."

Seattle's HomeStreet bank starts to finance condo projects again

By Marc Stiles, Source: Puget Sound Business Journal

With the inventory of new urban condos in Seattle all but gone, developers are ready to build again but are hamstrung by the lack of financing.

Now a Seattle bank, HomeStreet, is turning that around and getting back into offering construction loans — with a couple of deals in the works.

New-Home Sales Jump 8.3 Percent in June

WASHINGTON, July 24 - Sales of newly built, single-family homes surged 8.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted, annual rate of 497,000 units in June, their fastest pace in the last five years, according to data released today by HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau.

"New-home buyers are returning to the market in larger numbers as firming prices, shrinking inventories of homes for sale and improving local economies convince them that now is the time to make their move," said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. "Meanwhile, the very low supply of new homes on the market is indicative of the difficulty that builders are having in keeping up with demand due to availability issues with regard to materials, credit, labor and lots for development."

Builder Confidence Rises Six Points in July

WASHINGTON, July 16 - Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose six points to 57 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for July, released today. This is the index's third consecutive monthly gain and its strongest reading since January of 2006.

"Today's report is particularly encouraging in that it shows improvement in builder confidence across every region as well as solid gains in current sales conditions, traffic of prospective buyers and sales expectations for the next six months," noted NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. However, he cautioned that "This positive momentum could be disrupted by threats on the policy side, particularly with regard to the mortgage interest deduction and federal support for the housing finance system."

Boost in Thurston Co. housing market rippling through industry

By Rolf Boone, Source: The Olympian

The Thurston County residential housing market is off to its best start in years through June, with sales ahead of last year’s pace by more than 20 percent, the result of an improving economy and still-low mortgage interest rates.

The difference from last year, though, which at times showed only a flicker of improvement in the housing market, is that this year’s gains appear to be sustained, showing steady month-over-month improvement, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data.

Majority of Americans expect housing fundamentals to rise

By Christina Mlynsk - Source: Housing Wire

It seems Americans are growing more optimistic about the state of housing, as more than half of potential homebuyers now expect the nation’s home prices and mortgage rates to appreciate within the next year, Fannie Mae reports.

Those results came from Fannie Mae’s June 2013 National Housing Survey, which revealed the share of respondents who anticipate a mortgage rate increase rose 11 percentage points, bringing the June total to 57% — the highest level since the survey’s creation in 2010.

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