the world's leading publication for coverage of the OSB, particleboard, MDF, laminates, softwood and hardwood plywood and hardwood face veneer industries.

Housing Starts Topped One Million

Housing Starts Topped One Million

U.S. housing starts in 2014 totaled 1,005,800 million units, up 9% from 2013, marking the first time housing starts have surpassed 1 million since 2007 when starts exceeded 1.4 million units, according to a report by APA—The Engineered Wood Assn. Beginning with 2008 and running through 2014, housing starts averaged 776,000 units per year.

Single family starts in 2014 were 648,000, up 4.9% from 2013, while multifamily starts came in at 357,800 units, up 16.4% from 2013.

Regionally, housing starts in the Northeast were 110,700, up 14.3% from 2013; in the Midwest were 162,800, up 8.8%; in the South were 497,700, up 7.4%; and in the West were 234,600, up 9.2% from 2013.

Actual number of new homes sold in the U.S. were up 1% to 433,000. The median price of new homes sold in 2014 was $279,500, up 4% from 2013.

The number of new homes (inventory) either completed or under construction was 178,000 late in 2014, compared for example to 420,000 in 2008.

Sustained increases in home values drove down the share of homeowners that are in a negative equity position on their mortgage to 16.9%. About half of those who are underwater owe at least 20% more on their mortgage than the current estimated value of their home.

Early this year the rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell below 3.7%; at that rate, the monthly payment on a $200,000 mortgage is about $100 less than in January 2014 when the mortgage rate was 4.5%.

For the year, the number of homeowners that started the foreclosure process totaled 1.2 million, down 18% from 2013 and down 61% from the peak of 2.87 million reached in 2010.

APA notes that the U.S. economy entered 2015 with considerable momentum. The mix of healthy job gains and gas prices below $2/gallon throughout much of the nation has driven consumer confidence to the highest levels since the middle of the previous decade.

APA forecasts 1,210,000 housing starts in the U.S. in 2015 and 1,365,000 in 2016. The APA report also lists forecasts from six other banking and housing concerns, which range from 1.1 million to 1.3 million for 2015 and 1.28 million to 1.65 million for 2016.

Housing starts in Canada in 2014 were 189,400, a gain of 0.7% from 2013.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *