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Tag Archives: Census Bureau

June Housing Starts Rise to Highest Level Since 2008

Housing starts in June soared to their highest level since October 2008, surging 6.9 percent to 760,000, the Census Bureau and HUD reported jointly Wednesday. Housing permits dropped 3.7 percent to 755,000 giving back half of May's gain. At the same time, permits for May were revised up to 784,000 from the originally reported 780,000 and housing starts were revised up for both April and May, to 747,000 and 711,000 respectively from 744,000 and 708,000. Total housing completions in June rose to 622,000.

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Home Prices Climb for First Time in Eight Months

The Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes rose for the first time in eight months in April. The 10- and 20-city indexes each rose 1.3 percent to the highest levels this year. Year-over-year, the 10-city index was down 2.2 percent and the 20-city index off 1.9 percent, both improvements from March. Prices improved month-over-month in all but one of the 20 cities tracked by Case-Shiller; prices fell 3.6 percent in Detroit. Prices were up year-over-year in 10 of the 20 cities. Economists had expected declines in the 20-city.

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New Home Sales Soar to Two-Year High in May

New home sales jumped to 369,000 in May - the highest level since April 2010 - as the median and average home prices both fell, the Census Bureau and HUD said jointly Monday. Economists had expected sales to reach 350,000 from the prior month's 343,000. Sales increased 7.6 percent month-over-month, marking the first increase in three months, and were up 19.8 percent since May 2011. The median price of a new single-family home fell for the third straight month, dropping to $234,500, the lowest level since February.

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Housing Permits Soar Highest Since September 2008

Housing permits soared in May to their highest level since September 2008, surging 7.9 percent to 780,000, the Census Bureau and HUD reported jointly Tuesday, but housing starts dropped 4.8 percent to 708,000 giving back all of April's gains. At the same time, permits for April were revised upward to 723,000 from the originally reported 715,000. April housing starts were also revised to 744,000, up from the originally reported 717,000 percent drop. Surveyed economists expected increases in both areas.

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Aging Population Forces Housing to Mature

The nation's housing developments need to grow up. There are many challenges to address: Support services to allow seniors to age in place, financing residential developments ranging from independent living facilities to nursing homes, creating affordable housing for low-income and low-net-worth seniors, and enabling older homeowners to tap accumulated equity. Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group recently published a Data Note detailing the characteristics and housing consumption of the nation's elderly to get a clearer picture of the needs that must be addressed soon.

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April New Home Sales Climb 3.3%, Beating Earlier Forecasts

New homes sales rose 3.3 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 343,000, the Commerce Department and HUD said jointly Wednesday. Sales for March were revised upward from 328,000 to 332,000. Economists had expected the report to show a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 335,000 new home sales in April. New home sales in April were up 9.9 percent from April 2011, the seventh straight month of year-over-year increases. The increase came despite survey results that showed new home shoppers had fallen.

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Housing Permits Drop as Starts Increase in April

Housing permits dipped in April for the first time in four months, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported jointly Wednesday but housing starts improved. Both indicators remained far above year-earlier levels. The month-over-month increase in starts in April appeared still larger because of a downward revision to March's report. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected permits to drop month-over-month and starts to increase over the same time.

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Capital Economics Sees Improvement Ahead for Housing

Noting some recent strengthening in demand in the housing market, Capital Economics suggests housing prices "are close to, or already through, their trough," and recovery will continue through the coming months. While acknowledging the decline in home sales in March, Capital Economics├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó analysts remain optimistic due to the recent increases in pending home sales. The National Association of Realtors' latest Pending Home Sales Index in March reached 101.4, its highest level since April 2010. Recent data on mortgage applications also point toward a strengthening market.

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Homeownership Rate Plummets to 15-Year Low

Homeownership rates dropped to 65.4 percent in the first quarter, reaching lows not seen in fifteen years, the Census Bureau said Monday. According to government data, the homeowner vacancy rate also fell to 2.2 percent nationwide, down from 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011 and the rental vacancy rate dropped to 8.8 percent from 9.7 percent one year earlier. The median asking sale price for a vacant home fell to $133,700 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the lowest level since second quarter 2005 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô from $133,800 in the fourth quarter and $143,700 one year earlier.

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New Home Sales See Steepest Decline in 13 Months

New homes sales fell 7.1 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 328,000, the steepest percentage decline since February 2011, according to the Commerce Department. Sales for January were revised upward from 313,000 to 353,000. Economists had expected the report to show a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 318,000 new home sales in March. New-home sales in March were up 7.5 percent from March 2011. The median price of a new home fell 1.0 percent in March to $234,500, but was up 6.3 percent from March 2011.

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