Builder Confidence Matches a Post-Recession High
Last month's surprising dip in housing starts came as inventory remained tight for both new and existing homes. The seasonally adjusted annual pace of single-family starts in August was down 6% from the previous month, although year-to-date totals for single-family construction are still up 9% from this time last year.
Home building is noticeably down in the South, largely due to flooding that affected many areas of the Gulf Coast. Nationwide, multifamily starts declined 5.4% from July to August. Multifamily development has generally been flat, as the rental apartment market finds a balance between supply and demand.
However, despite persistent shortages of lots and labor — July estimates of unfilled construction sector jobs reached 214,000 — home builder confidence is growing stronger. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for September climbed to a level of 65, matching a post-recession high and suggesting a weak August will be followed by growth in permits and starts.
Upward momentum expected to built into 2017.
Completions in 50-plus unit buildings have skyrocketed 284% since 2011.
Though overall producer prices remain flat, lumber and gypsum rose sharply in August.
Prices for spec homes in the Pacific and New England regions far exceed the national average.
Household holdings of real estate in the second quarter totaled $22.29 trillion.
Share of new homes with four or more bedrooms in 2015 increased to 47%.
Major housing markets have become more concentrated since the trough of the housing crisis.
Single-family and multifamily posted declines after several months of gains.
Rising costs of medical care largely contributed to the increase in core inflation.
The soaring auto loan market is drawing the attention of financial regulators.