Posted in Atlanta Condo Market, Charlotte Market, Inland Empire Market, Naples - Ft. Myers Market, Nashville Market, National Housing Market, Reno Market, Rio Grande Valley Market, Sarasota - Bradenton Market, Southern California Market, St. George - Mesquite Market | Posted on 08-19-2014 | Written by Brad Hunter
Housing starts numbers out today surprised many observers with its strength (+15.7%), but we find it to have been in line with our actual counts, released earlier this month. As we predicted, last month’s Census estimate was revised upward, and now the numbers are back in line with the trends revealed by the Metrostudy roll-ups.
The last release of housing starts data from the Census Bureau caused undue alarm about a collapse of activity in the South. The Census release had shown a 29.6% decline for total starts in the South, but as we pointed out at the time, this exaggerated the weakness in the south. As a matter of fact Metrostudy’s research shows that several markets in the south are up, both based on prior quarter results, and year ago. Raleigh was down 5% versus a year ago, but Charlotte, Atlanta, Texas, and South Florida showed increases.
Metrostudy’s data show that some of the most “beaten-down” markets are now doing better. In Las Vegas, for example, housing starts were up 16% from 1st quarter 2014 to 2nd quarter 2014, and Phoenix showed a 12.3% increase quarter-on-quarter (though it is still down sharply year-on-year). Housing starts in Chicago were up 87% quarter-on-quarter, and up 30% year-on-year. Naples Florida showed double-digit gains, both quarterly and annually.
Some significant trends were evident in Metrostudy’s data in California. Housing starts in the Riverside area rose 48.5% quarter on quarter, and are up 14% year-on-year.
We are seeing an increase in lot development in Riverside as lot shortages around the I-15 Corridor have intensified. The Inland Empire is developing its own economy, with 3% job growth, meaning that is it is no longer just a bedroom community for L.A.
Housing starts in Northern California rose 92% in the second quarter compared with the previous quarter, and are up 19% year-on-year. Starts there are at a record high since the boom. Contra Costa and Alameda County had particularly strong increases.
Also see, Brad Hunter discuss the promising increases in the Residential Remodeling Index and New Residential Construction this month on Bloomberg TV.