What is being viewed by many as positive news for the housing market, June (2017) has seen an 8.3% jump in housing starts to a rate of 1,215,000, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Dept. of Urban Development (HUD). Starts for buildings with five or more units came in at 359,000, and Single-Family housing starts reported a 6.3 percent gain at 849,000 units nationally.
In other encouraging news, building permit applications increased as well, up 7.4 percent from May to 1,254,000, with single-family permits increasing by 4.1 percent to 811,000. Permits for buildings with five or more units came in at 409,000. Completions in June totaled 1,203,000, which is a 5.2 percent increase, with single-family completions at 798,000 and five or more unit completions toping out at 396,000.
While this news is encouraging, there are some, like Joseph Kirchner, Senior Economist at realtor.com, who feel we still have a long way to go before we see significant relief in the inventory-starved markets where bidding wars are the norm. It has been said we’ll need housing start numbers in the neighborhood of 2.2 million in order to begin to see a significant easing of the shortage, so while our current increase to 1.2 million is certainly encouraging, it seems we still have a long way to go before housing supply and demand can finally approach equilibrium.