Applications to build single-family homes reached a five-year high nationally last month, according to Department of Commerce data cited by Bloomberg News.
The number of applications to build single-family homes rose 1.3 percent to a 622,000 per month annualized rate, the most dramatic month-over-month rise since May 2008. Construction starts on U.S. homes also saw an increase of 6.8 percent to an annual rate of 914,000, the Commerce Department announced.
Economists’ estimates for starts for the year were not far off. In a Bloomberg survey, projections ranged from an 875,000 annual pace to a 1.02 million rate. Work on multifamily projects such as apartment buildings increased 21.6 percent to an annualized rate of 315,000, the report said.
The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan jumped to a 14-month high of almost 4 percent last week, from a four-month low of 3.35 percent in early May. Neil Dutta of New York-based Renaissance Macro Research attributed rising mortgage rates to heightened consumer demand for loans, the publication said. [Bloomberg News] – Mark Maurer