Home builders ramped up construction efforts in April, on track to complete 1.17 million new dwelling units by the end of the year. Last mont saw a 6.6 percent increase in seasonally adjusted housing starts, a sign the housing market remains on a steady course despite sluggish economic growth in the first quarter. This latest data comes from the Department of Commerce.
The April figures are a turn-around from the 9.4 percent drop I housing starts in March. Meanwhile, a gauge of home-builder sentiment was unchanged in May but reflected steady growth. The National Association of Home Builders reported a monthly reading of 58 this month – the fourth consecutive month at this level. Readings above 50 are generally considered to be positive and reflect strong growth conditions in the housing market.
Applications for permits to build new homes, an indicator for future construction, climbed 3.6 percent in April as well. Overall, this news has analysts expecting home sales to continue to climb throughout 2016.
Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates average 3.625 percent while the 15-year rate is near 2.875 percent.
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