Small home builders are the mainstay of the nation’s housing industry, including a sizable number of self-employed mom-and-pop operations, according to a new study by NAHB economists. Slightly more than 65 percent of all home building establishments had annual receipts below $1 million.
Homes prices across the U.S. rose between September and October, although prices remain lower than in October 2009.
Existing home sales were up again in November, hitting their highest level since the expiration of the tax credit in June. At an annual pace of 4.68 million, sales were up 5.6 percent from October's 4.43 million, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Rising mortgage interest rates have reignited first-time home buyers’ interest in purchasing a home over the last several months, UPI reported. The rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages began to rise from record lows this fall, increasing from 4.17 percent to 4.83 percent between November and December.
Despite the recent housing crisis, most Americans still desire to own a home, but their attitudes may not line up with financial realities, CNN reported. A survey by Fannie Mae found that more 51 percent of people polled said the housing crisis did not change their desires to buy a home. Twenty-seven percent said that they were even more likely to buy because of the crisis.
Construction material prices have risen in the last year, while finished-building price indexes remained flat, adding additional financial stress to builders and contractors already facing the effects of high unemployment. An analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America reported that material prices rose 0.5 percent in November and 4.8 percent in the last year. The producer price indexes rose 0.4 percent in November, and 3.5 percent in the last year.
A new study by Fannie Mae found that most Americans have strong aspirations of owning their own home, despite the economic and housing turmoil. The desire to buy and own a home is strong both among current homeowners and renters.
A rollercoaster year in real estate is almost over, but a new poll shows most aren’t too optimistic for 2011, HousingPredictor.com reported.
Privately-owned housing starts in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000 — 3.9 percent above the revised October estimate, according to the Commerce Dept. The single-family market fared even better, rising 6.9 percent last month.
Builder confidence in new single-family homes remained flat in December, according to the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. The index remained at 16, the same as in November.