Growth in Housing Starts Keeps US Housing Market Buoyant

US housing starts have experienced another big jump, with a 20.9% increase in the year ending July 2012, alongside...

US housing starts have experienced another big jump, with a 20.9% increase in the year ending July 2012, alongside this is a 12.4% increase in the number of building permits for private homes, both according to the latest data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  

According to the report the rate of home starts in the US is now a seasonally adjusted 896,000 compared to 846,000 in June representing growth of 5.9%, however the rate still falls short of the 900,000 predicted by economists in a recent Reuter’s poll.

The number of building permits for private homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 943,000, 2.7 percent higher than June's 918,000. This is also less than predicted, but this could be a result of the recent fluctuation in mortgage rates according to sources.

"It's not a surprise given the recent rise in mortgage rates," Michael Hanson, senior economist with Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York, told Reuters. "I think we are looking at a situation that some air is coming out of the housing recovery given the higher mortgage rates." 

However, the sources are more than happy with the rise in permits and starts, which they say is a barometer for the market. The reports confirm that home-builders are still confident in the market, as was shown by growth in the last release of the National Association of Home Builders index.

“Builders are seeing more motivated buyers...than they have in quite some time," NAHB chairman Rick Judson said.

- Wednesday 21 August 2013

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