Housing Starts Pick Up

Dated: 07/26/2016

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The past week was quiet for mortgage rates. The reaction to recent economic data and to a failed coup in Turkey was small. Mortgage rates ended the week just a little higher.

The housing sector has been a bright spot for the U.S. economy in recent months. Housing starts rose 5% in June from May. Homes under construction at the end of June were at the highest level since 2008. During the first half of 2016, single-family starts, which make up roughly two-thirds of new construction, were 13% higher than during the same period last year. While home sales have been strong lately, a lack of inventory has been an obstacle in many regions, so an increase in the pace of building is welcome news. This, combined with mortgage rates near historic lows, suggests that the robust housing market should continue to perform well.

With the uncertainty following the June 23 Brexit vote, the U.S. Fed was viewed as being on hold for a while. Since then, however, the U.S. stock market has recovered and rallied to record highs. In addition, two key reports on employment and retail sales for June surpassed the consensus forecasts by a wide margin. According to futures markets, there is still no chance that the Fed will raise the federal funds rate at the July 27 meeting, but there is now a 50% chance of a rate hike before the end of 2016. A rate hike likely would pressure mortgage rates to move a little higher.

Source: MBS Quoteline

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David Sarnowski

David is a seasoned real estate professional, specializing in residential sales, rentals and investment properties. David is a 15 year resident of the New Jersey Gold Coast, with the local knowledge n....

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