Census, HUD Report: New Housing Permits Soar in January

Housing starts fell slightly in January, while new permits jumped to a nearly 13-year high, reflecting a sustained strong housing market in the United States. Building permits in January increased by 9.2 percent above the revised December rate of 1,420,000 – and was 17.9 percent above the January 2019 rate, according to a monthly report released by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,567,000 – or 3.6 percent below the revised December rate but still 21.4 percent above the January 2019 rate. “The latest month’s decline in housing starts is nothing to be concerned about,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.…

Weekly Report: Mortgage Applications Decline

Mortgage applications fell by 6.4 percent last week, though remain higher than a year ago at the same time, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced Wednesday. Highlights from the weekly report include: The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 6.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 5 percent compared with the previous week.The Refinance Index decreased 8 percent from the previous week and was 165 percent higher than the same week one year ago.The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier.The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 10 percent higher than the same week one year ago. …

Builders Have Historically High Confidence in Housing Market

Reflecting a strong market and low interest rates, builder confidence in the housing market remained high though slightly lower this month, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released Tuesday. Builder confidence dropped a point in February to 74, a number reflects nearly historically high confidence in the housing market. “Steady job growth, rising wages and low interest rates are fueling demand but builders are still grappling with increasing construction and development costs,” NAHB Chairman Dean Mon said in a news release. The NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI measures builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and expectations for sales over the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” Any number over 50 indicates that…

In Real Estate, Go West and Prosper

Want to make money on your house? How long should you hold on to it? What regions in the United States are most conducive to building value? The National Association of Realtors released a study this month that seeks to answer those questions by looking at historical data to determine whether homeowners are more likely to experience a home price gain or loss during the period when they hold a home. In short, all regions of the United States – the Northeast, Midwest, South and West – saw home values increase when they held onto their homes over seven, eight, nine and 10-year periods between 1989 and 2019. The findings include: The average price appreciation of a single-family home ranged…

Report: Q4 Home Prices Up Across United States

Home prices continue to rise across the country. That’s according to the latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors, which found that single-family home prices increased in 170 of 180 metropolitan areas and the media single-family home price climbed 6.6 percent from the fourth quarter in 2018. Specifically, the report found: The national median existing single-home price was $274,900 in the fourth quarter of 2019 (up from $258,000 a year earlier).At the end of 2019, 1.4 million existing homes were available for sale – 8.5 percent less than at the end of 2018.The average supply during the fourth quarter was three and half months, down from four months in the 2018. This number refers to how long it…