Morning Briefing: Housing starts up 6.5 per cent

by Steve Randall21 Oct 2015
Housing starts up 6.5 per cent
A rise in multifamily unit construction has helped push US housing starts up 6.5 per cent according to the latest figures from the US Department of Housing & Urban Development and the Commerce Dept. There was a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.206 million units in September from an upwardly revised August reading. Multifamily starts rose 18.3 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 466,000 units while single-family production edged up 0.3 per cent to 740,000 units.

“Despite the modest month-over-month differentials in single-family production, this sector has shown gradual improvement throughout 2015,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Since January, single-family starts are up 11 percent and we anticipate a similar pace for the rest of this year.”
 
These are the hottest markets for single-family homes
The Pacific Northwest and Florida dominate a new report of the hottest housing markets. The analysis by Auction.com found that Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Palm Beach County, Fla., and Portland were the top 5 among a survey of the 50 largest US markets. The five had the best combination of rising home prices, favorable affordability and strong housing demand, combined with strong economic and demographic conditions that point to future demand.

"While other factors certainly weigh on housing trends, it's clear that low oil prices are having a negative impact on energy-dependent markets across the country," said Auction.com Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. "States like Texas are seeing higher unemployment and a slower rate of home sales and home price appreciation. On the other hand, markets like Orlando are probably experiencing an economic boost from the increased level of travel brought on by lower oil prices."
 
Millennials present opportunity for housing market
The power of millennials in the housing market has been revealed by a report. With 83.1 million millennials in the US according to the Census Bureau it makes the demographic highly important to the real estate and mortgage industries; in fact they are the largest single demographic. UpNest.com has collated some recent data on millennials including that just 26 per cent own their homes with 50 per cent renting; they make up 68 per cent of first-time buyers and 32 per cent of all home buyers; earn $76,900 (median income); and typically buy a 1,720 square foot home for $189,900. Their credit score averages 624, only just high enough to qualify for a mortgage, but are weighed down with an average $30,000 of student debt. Nine out of ten of those that have bought a home used a real estate agent. 
 

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