Morning Briefing: Housing starts at highest level since 2007

by Steve Randall19 Aug 2015
Housing starts at highest level since 2007
US housing starts are at an 8-year high with a 0.2 per cent rise in July to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.206 million units. The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department show the highest level of new builds since October 2007. Single-family home construction was the driver, up 12.8 per cent to 782,000 while multi-family units were down 17 per cent to 424,000 (seasonally-adjusted annual rates). The Midwest saw the largest increase, up 20.8 per cent followed by the South at 7.7 per cent while Northeast posted the largest decline at 27.5 per cent and starts in the West were down by 3.1 per cent.
 
Prices, sales dip in Orange County
July’s home sales and prices in California’s Orange County dipped in July. CoreLogic says there were 3,692 sales, down 139 from June, and the median sales price dropped $14,500 in the month to $615,000.  However the dip is largely seasonal and sales were up year-over-year by 15.5 per cent while the median price was 5.4 per cent higher than July 2014. Across the wider area, Southern California saw strong sales with San Diego County gaining by 22.4 per cent year-over-year. The region’s median sales price was 5.5 per cent higher than July 2014 at $438,000.
 
Brooklyn set to gain 22,000 apartments
Demand for apartments in the New York borough of Brooklyn has pushed rents and sales prices higher but a new report says that new supply is on the way - lots of it. The CityRealty report says there will be 22,000 new apartments by 2019 with the borough’s skyline being transformed by new towers. Downtown Brooklyn will get an extra 6,400 units with 4,300 in Williamsburg. The supply of new units in 2016 will be almost double that of 2015.
 
This Hollywood legend’s home is for sale
The former home of Hollywood starlet Katharine Hepburn is up for sale at $7.39 million. The home, in LA’s Coldwater Canyon, was the actress’ home when she move west from New York in 1932 as she swapped Broadway for Hollywood. The five-bedroom, 5.5 bathroom Mexican style hacienda was also owned by Frankenstein actor Boris Karloff.
 

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