JUNE HOUSING STARTS CONTINUE STRONG PACE

The pace of new home construction remained strong in June, closing out the quarter at a seasonally adjusted annual rate above 2 million units for the second quarter in a row, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures. For the month, the pace of housing starts remained unchanged at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.004 million units. This was 9.7 percent above the pace of a year ago.

Single-family home construction was down 2.5 percent to a pace of 1.667 million units for the month. This was 9.2 percent above June of last year.

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“Mortgage rates, though they have risen slightly in recent weeks, are still very favorable, and our surveys show that builders are confident that the market will stay strong in the months ahead,” says Dave Wilson, president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home-builder from Ketchum, Idaho.

“Demand, fueled by favorable mortgage rates, as well as strong household income and job growth in most regions, continues to drive the housing market,” says NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. “High lot prices and land-use controls in many areas do constrain supply and are a concern for many builders.”

While the overall pace was strong, the regional markets continued to show month-to-month volatility. In the Northeast, construction of new homes and apartments decreased 0.5 percent in June. The Midwest was down 12.1 percent following a 16.9 percent surge in May, and the creased West declined by 10.4 percent following a 9.4 percent jump the moth before. The South increased by 11.4 percent in June after experiencing an 11.9 percent decline in May.

Nationally, multifamily housing starts increased in June to a seasonally adjusted rate of 337,000 units. This was 14.2 percent above the month before and 12 percent above the pace of a year ago.

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