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New Home Starts Reach Four Year High

published on July 19, 2012

The Wall Street Journal recently declared, “The housing bust is over,” and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke agrees things are looking up for the national housing market. New evidence is emerging every day that the housing sector is on the mend, and it may be the sector of the economy that has the most going for it these days. In Austin, median to above median priced homes like those in the Great Hills and Travis Country neighborhoods are some of the fastest movers, with Austin luxury homes gaining steam as well. 

According to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development, there was a 6.9% increase in housing starts last month. A housing start is the early building phase of new construction. At an annual rate of 760,000 housing starts per year, groundbreaking for construction of single-family homes and condominiums has hit a four-year high.

“Housing start numbers are good indicators of a real estate market’s health,” said Austin Realtor Brian Talley. “New homes are not likely to be built when there are too many existing homes on the market that aren’t moving. If those are selling well, then new construction tends to pick up in short order.” 

Bernanke noted this week, “We have seen modest signs of improvement in housing. In part because of historically low mortgage rates, both new and existing home sales have been gradually trending upward since last summer, and some measures of house prices have turned up in recent months. Construction has increased, especially in the multifamily sector.” 

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