October 3rd, 2018
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September Housing Starts Tumble 10/17/18
Construction of new homes declined in September from August, due in part to a drop in new construction in the South after Hurricane Florence hit North and South Carolina during the month. The Census Bureau reports that Housing Starts fell 5.3 percent in September from August to an annual rate of 1.201 million units, below the 1.221 million expected. Total Housing Starts fell 13.7 percent in the South, the biggest decline since October 2015. Starts rose in the Northeast and West with a decrease in the Midwest. Housing Starts were up 3.7 percent from September 2017. Single-family starts, which makes up the bulk of residential housing, fell 0.9 percent from August but rose 4.8 percent from a year earlier. Multi-dwelling units, 5 or more, fell 12.9 percent month over month and rose 4.5 percent year over year.
Home Prices Continue to Rise
Home price gains slowed a bit in August but still produced solid increases year over year due in part to a strong job market and economy. CoreLogic reports that home prices, including distressed sales, rose 5.5 percent from August 2017 to August 2018. On a monthly basis, prices were up 0.1 percent from July to August. CoreLogic's chief economist Frank Nothaft said, "National appreciation in August was the slowest in nearly two years, and we expect appreciation to slow further in the coming year." CoreLogic is forecasting a 4.7 percent increase in home prices from August 2018 to August 2019.