Single-family housing starts took a small step back in November.
According to the monthly Housing Starts report from the U.S. Department of Commerce, single-family housing starts tallied 565,000 in November 2012 on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis. This marks a 4 percent decline from October, but is more than 100,000 higher than the count from 12 months ago.
Clearly, the nation’s new home construction market is expanding.
[Hawaii homes built in 2012]
On a regional basis, single-family housing starts have been strongest in the Midwest; and Hurricane Sandy appears to have affected the number of starts across the Northeast.
As compared to one year ago:
- Northeast Region : Housing starts down 19% on an annual basis
- Midwest Region : Housing starts up 40% on an annual basis
- South Region : Housing starts up 24% on an annual basis
- West Region : Housing starts up 33% on an annual basis
It’s expected that new construction growth will continue into 2013, too. This is because the Department of Commerce report also showed Building Permits mostly unchanged for November at 565,000 units on a seasonally-adjusted annualized basis.
As compared to November 2011, this marks a 25% increase. Permits for multi-family homes are up 17%, too.
There are more building permits being issued today that at any time in the last 4 years.
For home buyers, this may be good news. Rising permits and housing starts suggests a more healthy U.S. economy, but it also means that home supplies may not be as tight throughout the next few months.
Overly-tight home supplies in some U.S. markets have contributed to rapidly rising home values. With more construction and larger home inventories, home prices may rise in 2013 less slowly.
The good news, though, is the mortgage rates remain near all-time lows and low- and no-downpayment mortgage programs are abundant. For today’s home buyer, there are plenty of affordable ways to purchase a home.
Talk with your real estate agent and your loan officer to see which plan works best for you.