Housing Recovery Picks Up Steam Despite Persistent Headwinds

By NAHB, WASHINGTON - With home prices and household formations rising and household balance sheets healing, the ongoing housing recovery is expected to gain momentum next year even as several challenges remain, according to economists who participated in yesterday's National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Fall 2013 Construction Forecast Webinar.

"The cards are in play for a decent and fairly strong recovery in 2014 and particularly in 2015," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "From the standpoint of GDP growth, housing has been a plus, growing at two, three and four times the rate of the rest of the economy in recent quarters."

Seattle home prices rise again

By Sanjay Bhatt, Seattle Times business reporter  (Source: Seattle Times)

The Seattle market’s home prices leaped 1.9 percent in July over the previous month and 12.5 percent over the past 12 months, according to the closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home-price index.

Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C., were the only three metro areas that saw monthly price gains accelerate from June to July.

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."

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