New Home Sales Rebounded In March

New home sales rebounded in March as an unexpected February downturn corrected. That’s according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which reported sales rising by 8.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 693,000, an increase from the month priors’ revised rate of 637,000. Sales were up 8.3% from the same time last year. The increase reverses a surprise downturn the month prior that took analysts by surprise, the first bad news in three months. Existing inventory saw a bump and, being generally cheaper and more attractive to buyers, took a greater share. But as rates keep rising, more and more homeowners are delaying selling, putting new construction front and center.…

Americans Touring Homes But Not Yet Buying

Potential buyers are coming out of the woodwork and touring homes, but that activity has yet to turn into a sales surge. Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index, which measures requests for tours and other buying services from Redfin agents, increased by 6% in the week ending January 28. Buyers are touring homes as rates hover in the mid-6’s, an exciting moment of stability in the wake of a rollercoaster year. Some are worried that rates will swing back up– or that ongoing home price appreciation will push their dream home out of reach regardless.  But the increase in touring has yet to translate into actual home sales. Purchase applications have actually declined, and Redfin says pending sales saw a huge drop.…

New Home Sales Spiked In December

New home sales spiked in December as cooling rates encouraged purchase-shy buyers to make the leap. That’s according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which reported sales up by 8% from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 664,000, a jump from the month priors’ revised rate of 615,000. December saw rates cool to the mid-6’s, a process that began in November but needed time to bear out fully. The data suggests potential buyers who were cautious at first eventually came to terms with slightly lower rates and jumped into the market. New home sales were up 4.4% from the same time last year. There were 453,000 new homes for…

Starts Slipped, Permits Surged In December

Home construction slipped for the first time in four months in December, with single-family starts taking a hit. Residential home construction fell 4.3% last month to a 1.46 million annualized rate, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. They were up 7.6% from December 2022’s rate of 1.36 million, however. The dip comes on the heels of a surge in November that sent new construction to a 6-month high. Notably, the decline was driven by single-family construction. Multi-family starts actually rose to a 5-month high. Permit applications also fared well after performing poorly the month prior. Single-family permits soared to their highest rate since May 2022, and multi-family also ticked up.  Permits offer an indication of future construction, suggesting…

Starts, Permits Saw Unexpected Gains In October

Housing starts surged unexpectedly in October, suggesting some relief for homebuyers grappling with tight inventory. Housing starts were up 1.9% last month to a 1.37 million annualized rate, their highest point in three months, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Single-family starts rose a modest 0.2%, adding to a 3.2% month-over-month increase in September, though they remain down 10.6% from the start of 2023. Multifamily starts saw a 6.3% boost to an annualized 402,000 pace. Permits also increased by 1.1% to 1.49 million, a boon after slipping the month prior. Permits indicate how many homes will be built in the coming months. Single-family permits rose 0.5% to 968,000, their highest level since May 2022, while multifamily permits jumped…

Housing Starts Saw Surprise Uptick In September

Housing starts surged unexpectedly in September, suggesting some relief for homebuyers grappling with tight inventory. New U.S. home construction increased by 7% last month to an annualized rate of 1.36 million, resurfacing after an 11.3% drop in August, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. They rose in three of the four major regions, with just the Northeast seeing a decline. Multi-family starts in particular were up 17% after a slumping last month. Single-family starts also saw a boost, up 3.2% month-over-month. “The uptick in single-family production was somewhat unexpected as our latest builder surveys indicate that starts are likely to weaken in the months ahead due to recent higher mortgage rates that were near 7.6% in mid-October,” Alicia…

Housing Starts Tank, But Permits Offer Hope

Housing starts slipped in August as multifamily construction sank, though permits for single-family homes accelerated. New U.S. home construction fell by 11.3% last month, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, to an annualized rate of 1.28 million. Single-family starts were down 4.3% from July. Permits for new construction rose to their fastest pace in nearly a year, however, up 6.9% to 1.54 million. Permits offer an indication of how many homes will be built in the coming months. Permits for single-family homes in particular soared to their fastest pace since May 2022. This suggests that builders are optimistic about demand moving forward. But they’ve recently taken a hit from the high-rate environment, leading to depressed homebuilder sentiment. The…

Mortgage Applications Just Barely Stay Positive

Mortgage applications just barely stayed positive last week, ticking up slightly. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey shows the adjusted Market Composite Index – a measure of mortgage loan application volume – increased by 0.5%. Adjusted purchase applications rose by 2%, while the unadjusted index was down 0.1% from the week before and 32% lower YOY. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed loans fell for a third week from 6.77% to 6.73%. Though it’s not a huge drop, any dip will pull some rate-sensitive buyers off the sidelines. This is especially true for new construction, which is having a boom moment thanks to the crippling shortage of existing homes for sale. “Purchase applications increased, driven by a 2% gain…

Newly Built Home Share Hits Record-High

More than a third of US single-family homes for sale in December were newly built, the highest share on record, according to a new Redfin report. New construction accounted for 34.1% of single-family homes at the end of 2021, up from 25.4% year-over-year (YOY). These numbers are the result of builders trying to keep up with housing demand, which has increased while inventory dropped to historic lows. In December, existing-home inventory fell 14.2% YOY with a historic-low 1.8 months supply. However, new homes saw inventory increase 34.8% and had a 6 month supply. Though new home supply is rising, new home sales have remained consistent, which Redfin calls “another indicator that homebuyer demand is far outpacing supply.” “A lot of…