Econintersect: A huge increase in new construction for apartments pushed housing starts higher in September. Single family homes increased by a meager 1.7%, whole apartments surged 53.4%. The number of single family homes being built is still at very low levels due to the large numbers of foreclosures supplying competition and a dearth of qualified buyers. The numbers for housing starts are the strongest of the housing market news for the week. However, some of the other reports from the housing market are not positive. GEI News has reported on the decline in mortgage applications this week and GEI Analysis has discussed the new data for residential building permits and housing completions in September, both of which also declined.From the U.S. Census Bureau press release:
Privately-owned housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 658 000. This is 15 0 percent (±13 7%) above the revised August estimate of 572,000 and is 10.2 percent (±13.3%)* above the September 2010 rate of 597,000.
Single-family housing starts in September were at a rate of 425,000; this is 1.7 percent (±9.4%)* above the revised August figure of 418,000. The September rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 227,000.
From Realtor Mag:
…builders seem to be getting more optimistic that the new-home market is showing signs of improvement. The National Association of Home Builders reported on Tuesday that industry sentiment rose in October to 18, the highest level in over a year. However, overall sentiment about the industry remains low–any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market (a level that hasn’t been reached since April 2006).
The home builder confidence improvement was reported in detail this week by GEI News.