Morning Briefing: Housing starts dip but consistent with builder confidence

by Steve Randall20 Apr 2016
Housing starts dip but consistent with builder confidence
There was a drop of 8.8 per cent in housing starts in March. The seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.089 was revealed by the US Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.
Despite the dip, the chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders, Robert Dietz, says that lower starts for single-family homes are in line with the generally optimistic sentiment of builders. “While we are also seeing a monthly decline on the multifamily front, multifamily construction is expected to level off at a solid rate given the high level of rental housing demand,” he added.

The dip in single-family was 1.2 per cent in March while multifamily starts dropped by 20.8 per cent. Overall numbers were down in three regions - Midwest (-25.4 per cent), West (-15.7 per cent) and South (-8.4 per cent) - but increased in the Northeast by 61.3 per cent.
Stonegate Mortgage appoints new CEO
James V. Smith has been named as the new chief executive and president of Stonegate Mortgage Corporation. Smith’s appointment is effective immediately as he is already with the lender as President and COO.

“Stonegate Mortgage is an exceptional organization with a great future and I am extremely excited to serve as its Chief Executive Officer,” said Mr. Smith. “I am very confident we can build on the strong foundation our team has put into place to drive our continued success as a leading mortgage company.”

Richard A. Kraemer, who has served as interim Chief Executive Officer since September 10, 2015, will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Stonegate.
Here’s how to spot a neighborhood undergoing gentrification
Researchers have found a new way to spot neighborhoods which are undergoing gentrification. Using social networks such as Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter, a team from Britain’s University of Cambridge found that analyzing check-ins, for example at trendy new restaurants in a particular area, could indicate a neighborhood that’s on an upward trend.

The study found that gentrification is indicated by people visiting new locations whereas venues that are predominately used by locals are not expected to see gentrification. Researchers admit that this is early days for the analysis but it has proved accurate in the limited tests.



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