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Housing Starts (Jul.)

Single-family starts edged back in July, although they but remain elevated compared to pre-COVID levels. Shortages in lots, labour and materials are weighing on builder confidence and housing starts. But falling material prices should enable builders to work through their large backlog of delayed projects, which will help starts average 1.15m annualised this year.
Sam Hall Assistant Property Economist
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US Housing Market Chart Book

Mortgage rate rise hits housing market activity

The rise in mortgage rates, to a 12-year high in mid-April, is now starting to weigh on housing market activity, with new and existing home sales falling back over the past couple of months. With rates set to increase to 5.6% by mid-2023, that decline in sales will continue. However, plenty of pent-up demand from the last couple of years means a substantial fall in sales is unlikely. We expect existing home sales to drop to 5m annualised by end-2022, with new home sales seeing a small decline to 700,000 annualised over that period. Single-family starts will also fall back, in part due to the large number of homes now under construction. Rental demand is easing, as the recent surge in rents stretches affordability. That will bring rental growth down from 15.7% y/y at the start of 2022 to around 5% y/y by the end of the year. Beyond that, the boom in apartment starts seen last year will start to boost supply, and vacancy rates will stabilise at around 4.5% from mid-2023.

10 May 2022

US Housing Market Update

Rise in rates to bring more vacant homes to market

Homebuyers looking for more space were contending with low numbers of larger homes for sale in the first quarter, not helped by an apparent rise in investor demand for bigger properties. But rising mortgage rates will encourage owners of vacant homes to bring them to market, which is set to provide some relief over the next couple of years. That won’t prevent a fall in home sales but will help avoid a crash. UK Housing Drop-In (10th May 10:00 BST/17:00 SGT): Economists from our property team are hosting a 20-minute briefing to explain why we think UK house prices are heading for a fall – and how bad the fallout will be. Register now.

5 May 2022

US Housing Market Data Response

Mortgage Applications (Apr.)

The sharp rise in mortgage rates over the past couple of months, to a 12-year high of 5.37% in the middle of April, is now weighing on mortgage demand. Home purchase applications dropped to their lowest since the height of the COVID-19 impact two years ago. A further rise in the 10-year yield over the past week means mortgage rates will rise further, placing additional constraints on demand. That said, plenty of pent-up demand from the past couple of years and a rising share of cash buyers still make a crash in home sales unlikely.

4 May 2022

More from Sam Hall

US Housing Market Data Response

Mortgage Applications (Jul.)

The recent decline in mortgage rates buoyed refinancing activity in July, but didn’t prevent another month of declining home purchase activity. While market conditions are tight, there are still plenty of households looking to buy, which is why we expect housing demand to stay close to its current level in H2 2021.

4 August 2021

US Housing Market Update

Increase in build-for-rent won’t derail SF rent growth

Surging demand for single-family homes has revived institutional investor interest in the single-family rental (SFR) market. With few homes available to buy, interest in build-for-rent (BFR) investment is growing. But given constraints in the home building sector and the small share of the market that institutional investors occupy, the impact on supply from the recent uptick in BFR development will be small. As a result, we expect market conditions to remain tight, supporting rental growth in the next year. Due to wider interest, this US Housing Update is also being sent to clients of our US Commercial Property Service

3 August 2021

US Commercial Property Data Response

RICS Commercial Market Survey (Q2)

Improvements in occupier demand boosted market sentiment in Q2. With over half of surveyors perceiving the property cycle to be in an upturn, prospects for H2 performance look solid. But while we share surveyors’ optimism about the industrial outlook, we think they are overly upbeat on offices.

29 July 2021
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