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Tag Archives: Census Bureau

New-Home Sales Fall in February for Second Straight Month

New-homes sales fell 1.6 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000, the second straight monthly decline, the Commerce Department and HUD jointly reported Friday. Sales for January were revised downward from 321,000 to 318,000. The median price of a new home in February jumped to $233,700 from $215,700. The median price in February was the highest since last June when the median price hit $240,200.The median price in February was 6.2 percent higher than figures for the same seen in February last year.

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Single-Family Starts Plunge, Permits Increase in February

Housing starts fell 1.1 percent in February to 698,000, compared with market expectations for a smaller decline, the Census Bureau and HUD jointly reported Tuesday. Single-family starts plunged 9.9 percent to 457,000, the steepest decline in a year, according to the agencies. The starts suggest strongly January's unexpectedly strong report was influenced by unseasonably warm weather, which pulled starts forward. Single-family starts have been weak for the past three years. Housing permits, unaffected by weather, rose 5.1 percent in February.

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New Home Sales Fell Slightly in January

New home sales fell 0.9 percent in January, declining from 324,000 in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 321,000. The Commerce Department found that the new home sales from January reflected a 3.5-percent increase year-over-year, up from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 310,000. Sales in the Northeast accordingly leapt forward by 11.1 percent from December but fell 39.4 percent from January last year. The South boasted still-strong numbers on either basis, up 9.3 percent month-over-month and 15.3 percent year-over-year.

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Mortgage Rates Lift on Greek Bailout, Housing

Interest rates for mortgage loans climbed close to 4 percent this week as a second Greek bailout sowed more confidence in the investor crowd and signs emerged that housing may see an upswing. Finance Web site Bankrate.com and mortgage company Freddie Mac each released separate surveys, with analysts attributing the rise to different causes. The GSE found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage lifting to 3.95 percent, up from 3.87 percent. Bankrate.com saw rates for the loan hit 4.16 percent, up from 4.10 percent last week.

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Homeownership Rates Wallow at Nearly 15-Year Lows

Homeowners moved closer to the sidelines last year, buying fewer homes than in 2010 and edging homeownership toward lows not seen since the 1990s. The Commerce Department released figures Tuesday that posted 66 percent for homeownership rates last quarter, reflecting declines by 0.5 percent year-over-year and 0.3 percent on a quarterly basis. Homeownership vacancy rates hovered around 2.3 percent last quarter, 0.4 percentage points lower than in 2010.

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Housing Starts Fall 4.1% as Single-Family Starts Rise

Housing starts declined by 4.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in December, even while figures for single-family homes climbed year-over-year, offering signs that it may unseat multifamily construction after several months. Single-family housing starts went up 4.4 percent at a seasonally adjusted rate of 470,000, with the December rate for building construction with five units or more hovering around 147,000. Building permits crept forward to an annual rate of 679,000, a 7.8-percent increase year-over-year and 0.1-percent annual increase month-over-month.

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Construction Spending Climbed 1.2% in November

Homebuilders spent more on construction in November last year than in any month before August, with figures for new residences climbing by 1.2 percent above October estimates. Fielding the numbers Tuesday, the Commerce Department reported that construction spending overall hovered at around $807.1 billion. Single-family home construction moved forward at a steady clip by rising 1.5 percent, with nonresidential construction staying nearly the same as in October with about $278 billion or so in reported expenditures.

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Home Prices Fall 0.2% Over October: FHFA

The Federal Housing Finance Agency released a house price index Thursday that tracked a 0.2-percent shortfall in prices on a seasonally adjusted basis from September to October. The FHFA releases home price indices each month to denote figures for home prices from across the country. September├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós 0.9-percent upswing entered a downward revision that saw home prices fall 2.8 percent, with the U.S. index 19.2 percent below a peak seen in April 2007. Census divisions from the report included regions from across the country, which by and large saw marginal downward revisions from September to October.

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Housing Starts Strongest in Nearly Two Years

A pickup in job growth and record-low mortgage rates helped fast-track housing starts to their strongest performance in nearly two years in November, with rental property construction ahead of single-family home starts. Housing starts surged by 9.3 percent month-over-month to hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000, up from 627,000 in October. The Commerce Department reported the data Tuesday via the Census Bureau. Continuing trouble in the euro zone helps keep mortgage rates at record lows.

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October Home Sales Spike by 8.9% From Last Year

New single-family home sales climbed to a seasonally adjusted annual 307,000 over October, 8.9 percent more than those figures estimated over the same time last year. The Commerce Department yielded the data Monday from new residential sales, which it collected and released via the Census Bureau and HUD. Sales for single-family homes meanwhile crawled above revised September rates of 303,000 by 1.3 percent. Data showed that median sales prices for new homes sold over October this year hovered at about $212,300.

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