- THE MAGAZINE
- BUYER'S GUIDE
Nationwide housing production experienced a reprieve in November, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Production was up 8.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 574,000 units in November.
The commerce department and the National Association of Home Builders said the gains represented a partial bounce-back from a slow month for housing activity in October, and was largely attributed to a big increase on the multifamily side.
“The fact that both starts and permits for new housing production rose last month is a good sign that we're headed in the right direction, albeit slowly, on the road to a housing recovery,” said Joe Robson, chairman of the NAHB. “That said, the November improvement was primarily on the multifamily side, and poor job markets and other economic factors are still keeping many potential buyers on the fence for the time being.”
David Crowe, the NAHB’s chief economist, said that homebuilders are being cautious about starting new homes, and that the overall production is still down on a three-month average basis.
”Understandably, it will take some time for the newly extended and expanded home buyer tax credit to start boosting sales in individual markets - just as it did the last time such an incentive was enacted,” he said. “However, the fact that permits increased in November is a hopeful indication that the desired impact of the tax credit on housing demand may be forthcoming early in 2010. In the meantime, credit for new housing production remains extremely difficult to come by, posing significant obstacles to builders with viable projects.”
Single-family housing starts made up some of the ground they lost in October, posting a modest 2.1 percent gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 482,000 units in November. Meanwhile, multifamily starts rebounded from an all-time record low in the previous month with a 67.3 percent gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 92,000 units in November, according to the NAHB.