Housing starts exceeded one million for first time since last year and housing permits were over one million for a third consecutive month. The increases were almost entirely in multifamily rental construction.
Multifamily construction soared 40% to 423,000 starts, the highest since January 2006 and permits also rose 20% to 478,000, the highest in almost six years. Multifamily starts were particularly strong in the Midwest where they more than doubled from an unusually low 42,000 to 100,000.
via Eye on Housing | National home builders association discusses economics and housing policy.
By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Existing home sales dropped by 0.4 percent month-over-month in February, according to the National Association of Realtors on Thursday, to an annualized rate of 4.6 million units, compared with 4.62 million in January. The February 2014 rate is also 7.1 percent lower than the same month last year. In fact, it was the lowest monthly rate since July 2012.
via Economy Watch: Home Sales Edge Down in February | Multi-Housing News Online.
One of the biggest problems facing low-income families in the U.S. today is a lack of affordable housing.
According to a recent report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, more than 7 million low-income households now spend more than half of their income for rent, which leaves little money for anything else. And the situation is expected to get worse.
Now, a coalition of nonprofit groups is trying to turn things around with a new, more business-like approach to buying real estate. They hope to preserve housing units that low- and moderate-income families can afford.
via Nonprofits Pull In Investors To Tackle Housing Affordability : NPR.
(Axiometrics, Inc.) The U.S. Census Bureau’s metropolitan statistical area (MSA) residential permitting report for December 2013 reflected a sharper slowdown in permits than expected.
The statistics, released on January 17, showed that privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were 986,000, measured on a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). This represented a decrease of 3.0% from the revised November rate of 1,017,000, though it is still 4.6% higher than the December 2012 estimate of 943,000. Consensus estimates furthermore called for an additional 0.3% decline.
via Permitting Report: December 2013.
Real Estate analytics firm Core Logic announced Wednesday that there were a total of 620,111 foreclosures across the country in 2013, a 24% decline from 2012 when 820,000 homes were foreclosed upon.
Despite the marked decline in the number of foreclosures year over year, foreclosure activity remains well above its normal rate of 21,000 foreclosures per month between 2000 and 2006. “Clearly, 2013 was a transitional year for residential property in the United States.” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “We are turning a long-awaited corner.”
via Foreclosures Fell a Whopping 24% in 2013 | TIME.com.
WASHINGTON (January 23, 2014) – Existing-home sales edged up in December, sales for all of 2013 were the highest since 2006, and median prices maintained strong growth, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 1.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.87 million in December from a downwardly revised 4.82 million in November, but are 0.6 percent below the 4.90 million-unit level in December 2012.
via December Existing-Home Sales Rise, 2013 Strongest in Seven Years | realtor.org.
But as New York City’s “micro-apartment” project inches closer to reality, experts warn that micro-living may not be the urban panacea we’ve been waiting for. For some residents, the potential health risks and crowding challenges might outweigh the benefits of affordable housing. And while the Bloomberg administration hails the tiny spaces as a “milestone for new housing models,” critics question whether relaxing zoning rules and experimenting with micro-design on public land will effectively address New York’s apartment supply problem in the long run.
via The Health Risks of Small Apartments – Jacoba Urist – The Atlantic.
By Margaret Chadbourn
WASHINGTON | Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:27am EDT
(Reuters) – U.S. home resales hit a 6-1/2 year high in August as buyers flocked back to the market to lock in cheap borrowing costs amid rising mortgage rates, a signal of continued strength in the housing market recovery.
The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday existing home sales increased 1.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.48 million units last month, the highest level since February 2007 when property values began to decline after the sector’s boom and bust.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected home resales to rise to a 5.25 million-unit rate. The housing recovery has helped shore up the economy by bolstering household finances and supporting consumer spending.
via U.S. existing home sales rise to 6-1/2 year high | Reuters.
Completed U.S. foreclosures fell 8.6% to 49,000 in July from the revised June figure of 53,000, according to CoreLogic’s National Foreclosure Report released Aug. 29.
The figure tumbled 25% on a year-over-year basis from 65,000.
Before the 2007 housing market decline, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006. There have been about 4.5 million completed foreclosures nationwide since the financial crisis began in September 2008.
via SNL: CoreLogic: Completed foreclosures in July drop 8.6% MOM | SNL.
Reuters – Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes fell for the second straight month in July, a sign that rising mortgage rates are taking the steam out of Americas housing market recovery.
via Housing recovery loses a step as pending home sales fall | Reuters.