Single-Family housing starts to rise double-digits

November 2015

The housing market has continued on an upward trend since the 2008 housing crisis. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is projecting single-family housing starts to increase 11% to 719,000 in 2015 over 2014. In 2016, production is expected to rise 27% to 914,000 new housing starts. The NAHB associates these increases to steady employment and economic growth along with attractive mortgage rates.

“This recovery is all about jobs,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “If people can get good jobs that pay decent incomes, the housing market will continue to move forward.”

However there are several factors that are hindering a more vigorous recovery. According to a NAHB survey of its members, 13% of builders reported cost and availability of labor as a significant problem in 2011 and that concern jumped to 61% in 2014. One-fifth of builders shared similar concerns regarding lots in 2001 and the increased dramatically to 61% in 2014. The increase in building material costs also remains a concern at 58% of those surveyed in 2014 compared to 33% in 2011.

The production of multi-family housing unfortunately has not had the same predicted growth as the single-family housing starts. With the production of multi-family units expected to increase 9% to 387,000 units this year but to have a 3% decline to 378,000 units in 2016.

As a whole, the U.S housing market has steadily improved however improvement pace has varied by region. The most successful recoveries are happening in North Dakota, Wyoming, Texas, Montana and Louisana. Other states exhibiting signs of strong employment and housing growth include South Carolina, Utah, Tennessee, Idaho, Oregon and North Carolina. While the improvement for states such as California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida and the industrial Midwest have been more difficult due to excessive price and production spikes during the 2008 crisis.

“We’ve gotten to the point in the recovery where we no longer have problems that came with the housing bust,” said NAHB Senior Economist Robert Denk. “It now is really a matter of housing markets reconnecting to the fundamental drivers, and that is employment.

Source: NAHB

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