The U.S. Commerce Department has reported some economic good news for contractors: Production and permitting of new single-family homes continued an upward swing for July.
the declines on the multifamily side dragged down the overall numbers, with combined
single- and multifamily starts down 1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual
rate of 581,000 units and combined single- and multifamily permits down 1.8
percent to a 560,000-unit rate.
“With the impending
expiration of the first-time home buyer tax credit at the end of November, July
was probably the last month in which to get homes permitted and started in time
for customers to take advantage of that valuable incentive,” said Joe Robson,
chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder from
Tulsa, Okla. “Builders were responding to improved demand related to that
upcoming deadline and also to the first signs of an economic recovery. However,
it remains to be seen what happens after the tax credit expires, and the severe
credit crunch that has curtailed many multifamily projects is looming over
single-family builders as well. Congress and the administration need to take
action now in order to maintain the momentum toward a housing and economic
The NAHB said it is calling on Congress to extend
the first-time home buyer tax credit for another year and to offer it to all
income-eligible buyers. In addition, NAHB is urging Congress to help eliminate
the credit crunch, correct faulty appraisal practices and expand
net-operating-loss tax provisions that can help avoid more layoffs.
Single-family housing rises in July
October 1, 2009