Lift in Housing Starts Indicates Inventory Relief

Housing starts neared their postrecession high in October, with expectations that the new-home market will soon provide much-needed inventory relief, the Commerce Department reports.

Starts, which reflect combined totals within the single-family and multifamily sectors, jumped 13.7 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.29 million. That’s the highest reading for new-home production since October 2016, when starts had reached a high of 1.33 million.

Starts for single-family homes in October increased 5.3 percent last month, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 877,000. They are now up 8.4 percent from a year ago. Multifamily starts surged nearly 37 percent, reaching 413,000 units in October after a weak September production report.

 

Source: National Association of Home Builders

Buyers Are Paying Less in Closing Fees than in 2014

Closing costs dropped 7.1 percent year-over-year, falling from $1,989 in 2014 to $1,847 in 2015, according to a newly released Bankrate.com survey. The Bankrate analysis requested Good Faith Estimates from up to 10 lenders in large cities for a hypothetical $200,000 mortgage for a single-family home assuming a 20 percent down payment.

While average origination fees were down about 22 percent in this year’s survey, average third-party fees rose nearly 22 percent.

However, industry leaders are warning that mortgage lending and its costs will likely rise, notably on title insurance. We agree and suggest you seek today’s buying opportunities!

Source: “Even as Mortgage Closing Costs Drop, You’d Better Shop Around,” Bankrate.com (Aug. 3, 2015)