Morning Briefing: Housing starts lower in August

by Steve Randall18 Sep 2015
Housing starts lower in August
Housing starts slowed in August according to new data from US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. There was a 3 per cent drop to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.126 million units. There was a 3.5 per cent rise in the number of permits issued but the National Association of Home Builders says that labor shortages and material costs is delaying the commencement of developments.

“A slight one-month decline is not unusual as the housing market moves forward at a slow and steady pace,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “However, encouraging permit data, year-over-year increases in single and multifamily production, and rising builder confidence all bode well for a continuing, gradual recovery throughout the rest of the year.”

Single-family and multifamily units both has a 3 per cent drop in starts the Northeast seeing the largest decline at 33.7 per cent for the combined housing types.
Moody’s confirms lease at 1 World Trade Center
Credit rating agency Moody’s has confirmed that it has signed a lease for 75,000 square feet of office space at 1 World Trade Center in New York City. The NY Post reports that the firm will take the 56th and 57th floors in the tower which is already home to Conde Naste and High 5 Games. The asking price for space is $69 per square foot.
Mortgage rates steady this week
Mortgage rates were calm this week ahead of Thursday’s announcement on interest rates by the Fed. Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that 30-year FRM’s averaged 3.91 per cent in the week to Sept. 17, up from 3.90 in the week earlier; 15-year FRM’s averaged 3.11 per cent, up from 3.10; 5-year ARM’s averaged 2.92 per cent, up from 2.91; and 1-year FRM’s averaged 2.56 per cent, down from 2.63 per cent in the previous week.

Speaking before the Fed announced a freeze on interest rates, Freddie Mac’s chief economist Sean Becketti was not expecting a significant change even if there was an interest rate rise: We're still on track for the best year of home sales since 2007. While our outlook incorporates a moderate increase in mortgage rates over the next 18 months, rates are likely to remain low by historical standards and should not be a determining factor for most Americans looking to purchase a home." 


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