Starts, starts, new home starts

H. C. Covington (ach1@sprynet.com)
Tue, 2 Dec 1997 03:58:30 -0600


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Housing Starts Rise in October
Washington, Nov. 18, 1997-Total U.S. housing starts rose 1.4 percent to =
an annual rate of 1.53 million in October, the U.S. Census Bureau =
reported today. Single-family starts dropped 3.8 percent to a seasonally =
adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million and multifamily starts increased an =
unexpected 20. 6 percent to 386,000.=20

"The decrease in single-family starts in October was consistent with our =
member surveys which show that builders are expecting the market to =
decline slightly," said Kent Colton, executive vice president of the =
National Association of Home Builders. "However, the dramatic increase =
in multifamily starts was unexpected, and the number may be revised =
downward when starts are released next month."


For the first 10 months of 1997, total starts were running 1.3 percent =
below the same period in 1996, but total permits were slightly above =
1996. Year-to-date totals for single-family starts and permits were =
down, but year-to-date totals for multifamily starts and permits were =
higher.


"Overall, the housing market is stronger than previously anticipated," =
Colton said. "The industry is having a good year. Units are being =
absorbed quickly and inventories of unsold homes are low. All this can =
be attributed to low interest rates, low unemployment, and high consumer =
confidence."


Mortgage rates, currently averaging 7.29 percent, are at their lowest =
levels since February 1996. Low inflation, low government deficits, and =
an inflow of funds from abroad seeking a safe haven in the U.S. have =
contributed to the low rates. With the favorable conditions, financing =
for buyers and builders is not a problem.


A slight downturn is still expected in 1998, when NAHB forecasts 1.38 =
million starts. NAHB surveys of builders indicate that builders also are =
expecting a slowdown in the next few months, simply because the rapid =
growth that the U.S. economy has experienced in 1996 and 1997 cannot be =
sustained, Colton said.=20





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Starts, starts, new home = starts
 

Housing Starts Rise in October

Washington, Nov. 18,=20 1997-Total U.S. housing starts rose 1.4 percent to an annual rate of = 1.53=20 million in October, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. Single-family = starts=20 dropped 3.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million = and=20 multifamily starts increased an unexpected 20. 6 percent to 386,000.=20

"The decrease in single-family starts in October was consistent = with our=20 member surveys which show that builders are expecting the market to = decline=20 slightly," said Kent Colton, executive vice president of the = National=20 Association of Home Builders. "However, the dramatic increase in=20 multifamily starts was unexpected, and the number may be revised = downward when=20 starts are released next month."

For the first 10 months of 1997, total starts were running 1.3 = percent below=20 the same period in 1996, but total permits were slightly above 1996.=20 Year-to-date totals for single-family starts and permits were down, but=20 year-to-date totals for multifamily starts and permits were higher.

"Overall, the housing market is stronger than previously=20 anticipated," Colton said. "The industry is having a good = year. Units=20 are being absorbed quickly and inventories of unsold homes are low. All = this can=20 be attributed to low interest rates, low unemployment, and high consumer = confidence."

Mortgage rates, currently averaging 7.29 percent, are at their lowest = levels=20 since February 1996. Low inflation, low government deficits, and an = inflow of=20 funds from abroad seeking a safe haven in the U.S. have contributed to = the low=20 rates. With the favorable conditions, financing for buyers and builders = is not a=20 problem.

A slight downturn is still expected in 1998, when NAHB forecasts 1.38 = million=20 starts. NAHB surveys of builders indicate that builders also are = expecting a=20 slowdown in the next few months, simply because the rapid growth that = the U.S.=20 economy has experienced in 1996 and 1997 cannot be sustained, Colton = said.=20

Back to News Page

Go to=20 Census Bureau Monthly Update of Construction=20 Statistics
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