A "housing start" is a new home on which construction has started.
Housing Starts data is surveyed and broken-down by housing type:
- Single-Family Housing Starts
- Multi-Unit Housing Starts (2-4 Units)
- Apartment Building Housing Starts (5 or more units)
- Marketwatch : Housing starts rise for 3rd straight month, up 0.3%
- CNN : Housing starts jump to 5-month high
In September, single-family starts did move to a 5-month high but buyers and sellers in Marietta should keep the figures in perspective. Just because starts are rising doesn't mean the housing sector has turned around for good.
The first reason why is because, in September, starts were 75 percent less as compared to 5 years ago at the peak of housing. And if you feel that's an unfair comparison, even as compared to the last 12 months, September's data was tens of thousands below average.
Second, September's Margin of Error happened to exceed its actual measurement. This means that the 4 percent in starts may actually turn out to be a loss of 4 percent (or more!) once the data is collected in full.
If there's a reason to think the New Homes market is coming back, though, it's that home builder confidence is also at a 5-month high. Foot traffic is rising and builders are optimistic about the next six months. This could mean higher sales prices and less chance for negotiation.
Buyers in search of new homes may find it tougher to make a deal the closer we get to 2011. Atlanta Jumbo rates still are below 5% for the week Of October 18th 2010