The market is still laboring to keep up with the demands in housing but still lacking in its output for available inventory. In a report released by the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development, little hope can be seen with the numbers as housing starts remain in the low.
Housing starts in March fell by 6.8 percent from February’s revised estimate to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,215,000. Still, the estimate fell within the range expected by economists and is 9.2 percent above the March 2016 rate of 1,113,000.
Single-family homes decreased by 6.2 percent from February’s revised estimate of 875,000 to 821,000 in March. For abodes with multiple units, March rate fell by 6.1 percent to 385,000. Still, both figures were higher compared to the numbers a year ago.
That does not hide the fact that there is still scarcity in the inventory of available housing, however. Experts are finding a glimmer of hope in the dim numbers, however they can, one of which was noted by a Wall Street Journalreport pointing the rise in permits.
As quoted in the report:
Residential building permits, which can signal future home construction and tend to be a less volatile measure, rose 3.6% to an annual pace of 1.260 million last month and were up 17% compared with the same month last year.
Meanwhile, privately-owned housing completions marched forward this month with a charted seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,205,000 which is 3.2 percent higher from 1,168,000 in February. Last year, it was 1,063,000. Single-family homes, on the other hand, finished at 819,000 which is 7.9 percent above February’s 759,000. For buildings with multiple units, the completion rate was 374,000 in March, a decline of 4.6 from the previous month, but still, a 15.4 percent increase compared to the previous year.
A serial disappointment
Commenting on the current state of housing inventory, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says, “A major housing shortage exists in this country. It is, therefore, disappointing to witness in March the continued lackluster performance in new-home building, which was the second lowest activity over the past six months.”
Whether the trend will continue or the experts will be right in their prediction based on the permit, activity remains yet to be seen.