Housing Figures: Home Builders Still Building, Spending Decreases

April 7, 2020

Housing-Figures - Home Builders Still Building Construction Spending Decreases

Housing Figures is our monthly round-up of the top news stories related to residential new construction spending and the latest market numbers.

This month, we’re keeping tabs on where residential construction is considered to be an essential business activity, watching construction spending and seeing the bright spots in reports indicating housing could help lead the country’s economic rebound.  

Home builders are still building in most states. The National Association of Home Builders is maintaining an up-to-date map of the states where home builders can continue to work and where they’ve been mandated by their state governments not to. Currently, only Washington, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Michigan and parts of Missouri have listed residential construction as non-essential. [NAHB] 

Single-family spending increased in February. While overall construction spending decreased in February, single-family was up 3.9 percent from January and 16.1 percent from February 2019. Multifamily had more modest spending gains at 0.1 percent, dragging down the overall residential spending to 0.6 percent from January. [Builder] 

Median listing prices went up in March. Realtor.com reported that the national median listing price was $320,000 in March, up 3.8 percent from last year. National inventory also declined by 15.7 percent year-over-year, while homes sold four days more quickly than March 2019. [Realtor.com] 

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Home sellers are leaving the market. Redfin reports that 28,140 homes were taken off the market in the last week of March. That represents a 148 percent year-over-year increase in homes being delisted for that same week. Detroit and Philadelphia saw the biggest drop in home listings. [HousingWire] 

Housing starts fell less than expected in FebruaryHousing starts dropped 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.599 million in February after January’s number was revised to 1.624 million units. Housing starts jumped by 39.2 percent however on a year-by-year basis. [CNBC] 

Study indicates housing is poised to lead the economic rebound. A study by NAHB found that building 1,000 average single-family homes creates 2,900 full-time jobs and generates almost $111 million in taxes and fees for all levels of the government. Building 1,000 rental apartments was found to generate 1,250 jobs and $55.91 million in taxes and government revenue. [NAHB Now] 

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