February Housing Starts Pause

Single-family housing starts declined almost 10 percent in February from an elevated January due to abnormally warm weather country wide. February also has above average temperatures but not as off-normal as January. In addition, buyers are meeting the harsh realities of tight credit standards and poor appraisals that don’t account for the condition of the distressed sales used as comparables. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index for March also showed a plateau for the same reasons. Home buyers are more plentiful and serious but continue to struggle with mortgage qualification barriers while builders compete with distress sales that keep prices soft.
The multifamily apartment construction sector continues to grow to an annual level of 241,000 and a three-month moving average above the 200,000 level for four consecutive months. Building permits were uniformly up across all building types and regions with the exceptions of a 2% decline in the South. The improvement in permits is a positive sign that builders still expect to see buyers in the spring and summer.
The three month moving average of total starts removes some of the monthly statistical and weather related deviations from trend and shows some leveling in the upward trend that began almost a year ago. As the economy and jobs continue to improve, the slowly rising trend set in mid-2011is expected to continue for a total starts level of 714,000 in 2012.



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  1. Reblogged this on Park Square Homes and commented:
    A look at what the numbers mean from the NAHB blog.

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  1. Craig Kamman — Building Permits and Starts, Midwest Region
  2. February Housing Starts Pause | Wood on Fire – Topics of Lumber Industry

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