US housing starts surge to 9-year high in October
U.S. housing starts surged to a more than nine-year high in October as builders ramped up construction of both single and multifamily homes, offering hope that housing will contribute to economic growth in the fourth quarter.
Groundbreaking jumped 25.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.32 million units, the highest level since August 2007, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. The percent increase was the biggest since July 1982. Starts increased in all four regions last month.
September’s starts were unrevised at a 1.05 million-unit rate. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts rising to a 1.16 million-unit pace in October. Residential construction has been a drag on gross domestic product for two straight quarters.
Single-family home building, which accounts for the largest share of the residential housing market, jumped 10.7 percent to an 869,000-unit pace in October, the highest since October 2007.
The housing market is being driven by a tightening labor market, which is starting to drive up wages.
Permits for future construction edged up 0.3 percent in October. Single-family permits rose 2.7 percent last month, while building permits for multi-family units fell 3.3 percent.
*From Associated Press
1 in 4 Fla. owners with mortgage is ‘equity rich’
ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q3 2016 U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report finds that 23.4 percent of U.S. homeowners with a mortgage are equity rich, meaning their loan-to-value ratio is 50 percent or lower. It’s a year-to-year increase of more than 2.6 million owners.
In Florida, the ratio is similar, according to ATTOM, where 23.2 percent of owners with a mortgage are equity rich.
On the flipside, 16 percent of Florida owners with a mortgage are still “seriously underwater,” meaning they have a loan-to-value ratio of 125 percent or higher. “Close to one in every five U.S. homeowners with a mortgage is now equity rich thanks to a combination of rising home prices and lengthening homeownership tenures,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.
“Median home prices increased on a year-over-year basis for the 18th consecutive quarter in Q3 2016, and homeowners who sold in the third quarter had owned their home an average of 7.94 years – a new high in our data and substantially higher than the average homeownership tenure of 4.26 years pre-recession,” says Blomquist. “As homeowners stay in their homes longer before moving up, they are amassing more home equity wealth.”
A closer look by metro areas finds no Florida city in the top 10 on ATTOM’s list, however. Still, one city – Cape Coral-Fort Myers – was notable for being the only state city in the list of seven metro areas that saw the number of equity-rich homeowners increase by more than 10 percent as the area logged an 11.5 percentage point increase.
*From Florida Realtors
Positive news to end the year! HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON!
Tom, Barbara and Kris Cernera are full time realtors serving south west Marion County. They can be contacted at [email protected] or by calling 352-812-5297.