Shobhana Chandra, Bloomberg, November 20,2012
New-home construction unexpectedly climbed to a four-year high in October, more evidence of a revival in the industry that’s helping propel the U.S. economy.
Housing starts rose 3.6 percent to a 894,000 annual rate, the fastest since July 2008 and exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 82 economists called for an 840,000 pace.
Permits for the construction of single-family homes also advanced to the highest in four years. Full Story
The Editors, Bloomberg View, November 18,2012 The Federal Housing Administration may report this week that it could exhaust its reserves because of rising mortgage delinquencies, a development that could result in the agency needing to draw on taxpayer funding for the first time in its 78-year history. This would follow the $137 billion spent on bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Just like Fannie and Freddie, the FHA has played an important role in stabilizing the housing market, but the three agencies are now backing almost 90% of new mortgages. As my daughter would say, it’s complicated. Read Bloomberg View article
Sales of Single Family Homes have reached 200 for the year for the first time since 2007. Good news.
Much like the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop countdown in Times Square (but with a billion or so fewer people watching), the countdown is on to reach 200 SFH sales for the first time since 2007, another sign of a market returning to normal.
Here is a table showing sales for the last 12 years with the date that the 200th sale was recorded (in the years when sales reached that level).
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Photo courtesy of Bart Snow