Another day, another signal that the market for newly-built homes is improving.
Single-Family Housing Starts rose to a seasonally-adjusted, annualized 430,000 units in October — a 4 percent increase from September and the highest reading in 3 months.
A “Housing Start” is a home on which ground has been broken.
The increase in surprised Wall Street analysts, although it shouldn’t have.
Earlier this week, the National Association of Homebuilders showed that Homebuilder Confidence is at its highest point since May 2010, the effect of better market conditions and more sold units. Rising housing starts amid a lift in builder confidence is to be expected — the two metrics have moved with loose correlation since mid-2000.
However, as with everything in real estate, Single-Family Housing Starts volume varied by location. The nation’s 4 regions posted wide-ranging results :
- Northeast Region : + 10.0% from September
- Midwest Region : -4.1% from September
- South Region : +11.3% from September
- West Region : -10.2% from September
Buyers of new construction can infer two key points from last month’s data.
First, with more homes will being built, home supply should rise, thereby softening pressure on rising home prices. This should help keep homes affordable.
However, the second point is that, with builder confidence rising, buyers are less likely to win price concessions and “free upgrades” in negotiations.
The last 6 weeks of 2011 may be your optimal time to buy new construction. Home prices remain affordable and mortgage rates are rock-bottom. In addition, because there are typically fewer active home buyers during the holidays, you’ll be more likely to locate one of the few remaining new construction “deals”.
Talk to your real estate agent about local trends and new construction.