Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate
of 1,301,000. This is 4.6 percent below the revised April rate of 1,364,000, but is 8.0 percent above the May
2017 rate of 1,205,000.Privately-owned housing starts in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
1,350,000. This is 5.0 % above the revised April estimate of 1,286,000 and is 20.3 % above the May 2017 rate
of 1,122,000. Single-family housing starts in May were at a rate of 936,000; this is 3.9 percent above the revised
April figure of 901,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 404,000. Privately-owned
housing completions in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,291,000. This is 1.9 percent above
the revised April estimate of 1,267,000 and is 10.4 percent above the May 2017 rate of 1,169,000. Single-family
housing completions in May were at a rate of 890,000; this is 11.0 percent above the revised April rate of
802,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was3 89,000.
Sales of new single-family houses in May 2018 were up 6.7% (Kiplinger). This is up 14.1% above May 2017. The median sales price
of new houses sold in May 2018 was $313,000. The average sales price was $368,400.
The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 299,000. This represents a
supply of 5.2 months. (Census).
The National Association of Realtors reports that existing home sales were down 2.5% in April, after moving
up for two consecutive months. The south led the nation in existing home sales with 43% of US sales in the
southern states. The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $257,900 in April, up 5.3
percent from a year ago. The South had a gain in median price of 3.9%. April’s inventory figures are up 9.8
percent from March to 1.67 million existing homes for sale. Compared with April ‘17, fewer homes are available,
with inventory down 6.2 %. There is a four months supply of existing homes at the current sales pace.
National average for 30 year mortgage money is 4.52%. 15 year money is at 3.98%. 5/1 arms are at 4.36% and Jumbo
loans are at 4.71%.
The National Association of Homebuilder Wells Fargo market confidence index (HMI) is at
71 for June, down from 72 in May. Existing home sales are expected to rise 2.8% above the 2017 levels in 2018
to 5.8 million (Realtor). A record high stock market, passage of the Republican tax bill, record job creation, pent-up household formation and
rising consumer confidence in the economy are giving more Americans the assuarance and ability to purchase
a home. Elevated prices and mortgage rates are having minimal impact on demand so far. Firm job growth and
still-favorable consumer attitudes about the housing market suggest fundamentals remain sound for residential
real estate. At the same time, property price appreciation continues to outpace wage growth, threatening to
put homes out of reach for younger Americans and those looking to purchase for the first time. The number of
properties sold in which construction had not yet been started rose last month, a sign that developers will stay
busy in the coming months.
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