New Home Market featured so far this week with mixed results, but generally improved from recent years
New home sales and homebuilder confidence have been featured in the national news so far this week. Look for some news about existing home sales later this week. Depending upon which radio station or headline writer you listen to, you may have a very different impression about what the news is telling us about the housing market. I’ll try to clarify things a bit here.
The main thing to remember is that this week’s news is about national, aggregate trends. The key for you if you plan to buy or sell in Flagstaff, AZ is what’s happening with Flagstaff home sales.
On Tuesday, the headlines were about homebuilder confidence. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing-market index for January came in two points lower than many analysts expected and fell by one point from the December reading. This is on a scale of 100. The last time the index declined was in April 2012. Despite February’s result, sentiment is up 64% from January 2012. The builders’ sentiment index remains below a key reading of 50 — the point at which more builders see sales conditions as good rather than poor. The last time the overall index reached above 50 was in 2006. How’s that for a mixed bag of news?
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Commerce released data on housing starts for January. The housing starts data are volatile from month to month. Looking longer term, starts have increased 24% from a year ago, but remain below a bubble peak of almost 2.3 million in 2006. The headline reporting includes multi-family housing like apartment buildings. These numbers are important to economists but have little to tell us about the Flagstaff homes market.
According to the Commerce Department, starts for single-family homes nationally ticked up 0.8% in January to a rate of 613,000, the highest rate since July 2008. The government also reported Wednesday that building permits, a sign of future demand, rose 1.8% in January to a rate of 925,000 — the highest rate since June 2008. Permits for single-family homes rose 1.9% to a rate of 584,000. Again, this news important to the overall economy, which is important to Flagstaff real estate, but not too revealing about our own Flagstaff homes market.
When you need to have specific information about the Flagstaff housing market, give me or Eric and Jessica a call at 928.714.0001, write a note, or search for Flagstaff homes on my Flagstaff real estate website.