Housing Starts Pass 1 Million Starts for First Time in Nearly Five Years
Freddie Mac recently released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for April showing that despite the ongoing housing recovery and gains on the construction jobs front, large economic headwinds persist. For example, the stubbornly high unemployment rate serves as a reminder of just how far the economy needs to go to get back to a healthy level. A short preview video and the complete April 2013 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook are available here.
Housing starts were up 47 percent from March 2012 to March 2013, passing 1 million starts for the first time in nearly five years.
The pace of construction job growth has been accelerating in recent months. Over the past year, net construction job growth represented 8 percent of all job gains, while in the last six months it represented 15 percent.
Projecting an increase by $100 billion in refinances in 2014 to account for additional Home Affordable Refinance Program volumes with its extension through 2015.
Projecting residential originations, including single-family and apartments, to be nearly $2 trillion in 2013.
Supported by low mortgage rates, expect total homes built in 2013 to come in at the fastest pace since 2007.
“Until aggregate unemployment decreases substantially we will not experience robust growth. Construction employment is showing signs of life, which should help to improve the overall macroeconomic picture,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.
“Housing construction is starting to pick up, but is well below historical averages. Supported by low mortgage rates we expect more homes to be built in 2013 than in any year since 2007. This increased construction employment should continue to help bring down the overall unemployment rate.”
Freddie Mac compiles data on major economic, housing and mortgage market indicators and offers forecasts based on those indicators.
For more information, visit www.FreddieMac.com.