Archives For Economy

Recent reports show that U.S. housing starts were up 22.7% in November, reaching its highest level in nearly six years. Data shows the housing industry adjusting to the rise in mortgage rates, steady job-market gains, and rising stock and housing wealth, which can boost the confidence levels of prospective buyers and may account for this new momentum.

“The recovery trend has resumed,” said Alan Levenson, chief economist at T. Rowe Price Associates.

A stronger housing market lends itself to growth in other areas as well––including job creation, demand for building materials, and an increase in the sales of home goods––making these latest reports good news for the wider economy.

This article can be found in its original form at Wall Street Journal



New home for sale in Carmel, New York, via Househapy

In 2007 when the housing bubble burst, it left many unsold homes on the market and the size of newly built homes began to shrink. When looking at Census Bureau figures for 2008 and 2009, the median size of new homes being built was smaller than the previous year. At this time, many thought the McMansion era was over, but today it seems they are making a comeback.

Homes started growing again in 2010 and by last year the median size of a new home surpassed the peak of 2007 at a record high of 2,306 square feet. Along with getting bigger, new homes have also been getting more expensive. The median home price reached $279,300 in April of this year, which is 6 percent higher than the pre-recession peak set in March 2007.

However, the economy still hasn’t rebounded yet, begging the question of how Americans can continue to buy bigger and more expensive homes?

“It’s all about access to credit,” said Rose Quint, an economist at the National Association of Home Builders. “People who are less affluent and have less robust employment histories have been shut out of the new home market. As a result, the characteristics of new homes are being skewed to people who can obtain credit and put down large down payments, typically wealthier buyers.”

This article can be found in its original form at NY Times