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housing starts

Austin Mortgage Market Update – For the week of November 22, 2010

Last Wednesday, the Commerce Department reported that Housing Starts dropped 11.7% in October. This drop put Housing Starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 519,000, their lowest level in 18 months. But most of the fall off came from a 43.5% decline in multifamily construction, a volatile part of the market. Single-family building, accounting for more than 80% of all starts, was off just 1.1%, to 436,000 units. And September single-family starts were revised UP to a 2.1% gain. Meanwhile, Building Permits, which reflect builders' views of the future, were UP 0.5% to 550,000, another hopeful sign.

Austin Mortgage Market Update – For the week of September 27, 2010

As promised, last week's reports gave us a complete picture of the housing market in August. Housing Starts rose 10.5% month-over-month to a 598,000 annual rate, well ahead of the expected 550,000 number. Building Permits, which reflect builder sentiment further out, grew a more modest 1.8% month-over-month to a slightly smaller 569,000 annual rate. Thursday, Existing Home Sales came in UP 7.6% over July, at a 4.13 million annual rate. But let's remember, July was a record low, so this gain still left sales down 19% from August a year ago. The median price for Existing Homes, however, ticked up 0.8% year-over-year, as reported by the National Association of Realtors.

Austin Mortgage Market Update – For the week of July 26, 2010

Tuesday, June Housing Starts came in down 5.0% from May to a 549,000 annual rate. This was below expectations, but still up 15.1% from the low they hit in April 2009. Most of the drop came from volatile multi-family starts. Single-family starts were down a mere 0.7%. Most significantly, housing completions shot up 26.2% in June, the biggest monthly gain going back to the late 1960's. Builders clearly shifted focus from starting to finishing, as they pushed to close sales qualifying for the homebuyer tax credit. Finally, Building Permits were UP 2.1% for June, beating expectations, so things are looking up for the months ahead.

Austin Mortgage Market Update – For the week of May 17, 2010

Last Tuesday the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported the Q1 median price for existing homes was up in 91 out of 152 metro areas compared to a year ago, showing the housing market is starting to stabilize. This was a nice gain over Q4 of last year when prices were up in only about 40% of the cities tracked. Even more encouraging, the percentage price increases in 29 cities were in double-digits.