Slowly and steadily, the housing market plods ahead. In April, for the third-straight month, the data backed up what today's home buyers have already found out -- in many U.S. markets, the bottom is behind us.
Housing Starts Rise For 3rd Straight MonthThe Census Bureau reports that Single Family Housing Starts rose 2 percent in April, climbing to 492,000 units nationwide on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis.
A "housing start" is defined a home on which ground has broken and, after accounting for the upward revision to March's Housing Starts results, last month's Single-Family Housing Starts marks the third-straight month during which starts have climbed.
In addition, the number of building permits for single-family homes rose, too, in April.
As compared to the month prior, the number of permit issued to build new homes rose 2 percent, notching its second-highest reading since March 2010 -- the month before the end of that year's federal home buyer tax credit.
More than 85 percent of permit-granted homes break ground within one month.
Mortgage Rates Ignoring Housing Data?When the U.S. economy sank last decade, employment and housing were two main casualties. More than 7 million jobs were lost, half of which have since been recovered.
The housing market, however, has a longer climb back. After dropping close to 19% from its April 2007 peak, on a national basis, values have remained somewhat steady. Some markets including San Francisco, California; Phoenix, Arizona.; and Detroit, Michigan have lifted from their respective lows.
Other markets, including Atlanta, Georgia, have failed to make the same bounce.
This is one reason why Wall Street reacts more to jobs data than to housing data -- the jobs market is closer to recovery and its growth is more even. The other reason is Europe.
As Greece, France, and Spain slog through political and economic reform, they've spawned market uncertainty which, in turn, is driving investors to U.S mortgage-backed bonds. Mortgage bonds are viewed as a low-risk investment and a safe place to "park money" when global economies move toward distress.
In most months, the strong showing in U.S. Single-Family Housing Starts would lead all types of mortgage rates higher -- conventional mortgage rates, FHA mortgage rates, VA mortgage rates, and for jumbo loans, too. This month, though, with the future of the Eurozone uncertain, mortgage rates are slipping.
Check Your Housing Budget With A Real Mortgage RateWhether you're buying new construction, or buying an "existing home", you'll want to know what the home will cost you monthly, and to do that, you'll need a legitimate mortgage rate quote.
With mortgage rates low and low-downpayment programs including the FHA's 3.5% program for purchases up to $729,750, and the USDA's 100% program in qualified suburban and rural markets, you may find home affordability surprisingly high. Get started with a rate quote.