week’s economic news brought several reports related to housing. The
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Wells Fargo Housing Market
Index for August rose by two points to 55, which was its highest reading
in seven months.
Components of the NAHB HMI include builder surveys on conditions
related to upcoming sales of new homes, which rose by two points for a
reading of 65. Builder sentiment concerning present sales conditions
also rose by two points to 58.
Builder views on prospective buyer traffic rose from 39 to 42.
Readings above 50 indicate that more builders viewed housing market
conditions as positive as negative.
NAHB cited job growth and low mortgage rates as conditions driving higher builder confidence in market conditions.
Housing Starts, Building Permits Up in July
According to the Commerce Department, housing starts and building
permits rose in July. Housing starts increased to 1.09 million from
June’s reading of 945,000 and exceeded expectations of 975,000. This
reading reflects higher builder confidence and could contribute to
easing demand for housing as new homes expand the inventory of available
Construction of single family homes accounts for about 75 percent of
new home construction. July’s reading was 656,000 single family housing
starts on an annual basis. Regionally, housing starts declined by 25
percent in the Midwest, but rose by 44 percent in the Northeast, 29
percent in the South and 18.60 percent in the West.
Building permits issued in July rose to an annual rate of 1.05
million, which was an increase of 8.10 percent over June’s reading of
973,000 permits issued. Permits for single family homes increased by
0.90 percent to a reading of 640,000 permits annually.
July’s readings for housing starts and building permits are in line
with overall economic growth and suggest that housing markets may
improve in coming months as the supply of new homes increases.
Let’s add more icing to the cake. The National Association of
REALTORS® reported that existing home sales rose to 5.15 million on a
seasonally adjusted annual basis against predictions of 5.00 million
existing homes sold and June’s reading of 5.05 million sales of
previously owned homes.
Mortgage Rates Fall, FOMC Minutes Indicate Economic Improvement....Read More