The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports some softening in the residential remodeling sector. The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) fell three points to 54 in the first quarter of 2019. The index is similar to NAHB's Housing Market Index but from remodelers rather than new home builders. It has a breakeven point of 50. At 50, more remodelers report market activity is higher than report it lower than the previous quarter.
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,345,000. This is 1.4 % above the revised December rate of 1,326,000 but is 1.5 % below the January 2018 rate of 1,366,000. Single-family authorizations in January were at a rate of 812,000; this is 2.1 % below the revised December figure of 829,000. Privately-owned housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,230,000. This is 18.6 % above the revised December estimate of 1,037,000 but is 7.8 % below the January 2018 rate of 1,334,000. Single-family housing starts in January were at a rate of 926,000; this is 25.1 % above the revised December figure of 740,000. Privately-owned housing completions in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,244,000. This is 27.6 % above the revised December estimate of 975,000 and is 2.1 % above the January 2018 rate of 1,218,000. Single-family housing completions in January were at a rate of 914,000; this is 30.2 % above the revised December rate of -02,000. Sales of new single-family homes were down 4.7% in January compared to January of 2018. Existing-home sales fell for the third straight month and were down 1.2 percent from December 2018. Sales of existing homes dropped 8.5 percent from January 2018. January’s existing home sales reached a 4.94 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. Interest Rates have fallen since our last publication.
The national average rate for 30-year mortgage money is 4.12%, 15-year is 3.61%, Jumbo Loans averaged 4.35% and 5/1 arms are 4.05%. Rates furnished by Wall Street Journal.
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