Single-family home construction increased in the U.S. in April, driving housing starts up. Overall housing starts climbed 5.7 percent over the last month according to data from the Department of Commerce. The volume of construction permits also increased, a signal that housing starts in the coming months will be positive as well.
Low unemployment, a strong economy and lower mortgage rates have produced robust buyer-demand for housing, but rising material costs and labor shortages have hindered growth over the past year. These latest numbers suggest that home builders are not being deterred by these less than favorable conditions.
Experts predict that should demand continue to remain high, housing starts in particular may show resilience even if the housing market experiences a broader slowdown.
Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.
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