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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 97-153
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-1420Tuesday,
Or contact your local HUD officeAugust 19, 1997
New HUD Report Shows Strong Housing Sector <!--END_TITLE--> <!--TEMPLATE--> pressrel.tmp <!--END_TEMPLATE--> <!--LINK_CELL_AREA--> <!--END_LINK_CELL_AREA--> <!--CONTENT_AREA--> <head> <title>New HUD Report Shows Strong Housing Sector


WASHINGTON -- Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said a new HUD report issued today shows the housing sector was strong in the first half of 1997.

"The trend of rising homeownership and strong housing starts is moving forward," Cuomo said. "Homebuyers and the housing industry have benefited from President Clinton's economic policies, which are holding down interest rates, increasing employment, boosting consumer confidence and balancing the federal budget."

The new HUD report -- called U.S. Housing Market Conditions (was linked to www.HUDuser.org) -- takes a close look at housing statistics for the second quarter of this year (April, May and June) and contains information about the performance of the national housing industry, regional housing markets and historical data for all major indicators of housing.

The report was released on the same day the Census Bureau reported that July housing starts remained at the same strong level as June -- a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,447,000.

The Census Bureau reported that the July rate for starts of single-family homes rose to 1,141,000 -- a 3 percent increase from the previous month.

Cuomo announced in July that the U.S. homeownership rate rose to 65.7 percent in the second quarter of 1997 -- the highest quarterly rate in nearly 17 years. As a result, 67.1 million American households now own their homes -- the highest number in U.S. history and an increase of 5.3 million since President Clinton took office in 1993.

The new HUD report showed that in the second quarter of this year:

  • Sales of new homes, at 785,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), were off 5 percent from last quarter but were up 7 percent from last year's second quarter. By the end of the second quarter, the 1997 pace exceeded the 1996 level for the same period -- which was the best in 18 years.

  • Building permits, at 1,423,000 (SAAR), were at the same pace as in 1996 -- which was the highest rate in eight years.

  • Housing starts at 1,440,000 (SAAR) were within 3 percent of the 1996 level, which was the best in the last nine years.

  • Shipments of manufactured homes -- at 349,000 -- were only 4 percent off the all-time record level set in 1996.

  • Sales of existing homes, at 4,150,000 (SAAR), were near the level of last year's second quarter, which had the highest ever monthly rate (4,280,000 for May 1996).

  • Multifamily (5+ units) permits at 302,000 (SAAR) and starts at 293,000 (SAAR) were both ahead of last year at this time. 1996 was the best year in the last eight for multifamily permits and in the last seven for multifamily starts.

HUD's field economists report that while single-family permit activity during the first half of 1997 was down modestly in most regions of the nation, sales have been fairly strong.

  • In the New England, New York/New Jersey, and the Mid-Atlantic regions, sales and single-family building permits have held steady.

  • Sales and home-building remained strong in the Southeast region. At the current pace, 1997 single-family permit activity in the Southeast could surpass 1996 as the best year of the decade.

  • Single-family permits in the Midwest were down almost 11 percent; however, the first half 1997 volume was still one of the best performances in the past 10 years and sales remain strong.

  • While single-family permits were down 9 percent in the Southwest, Dallas-Ft. Worth and Houston-Galveston continued to report strong sales and home-building activity.

  • In California, the improving economy resulted in a 9 percent increase in single-family permits during the first 6 months of 1997. Increased activity was reported both in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Southern California.

  • In Arizona and Nevada the markets remained strong and construction and sales for all of 1997 are expected to equal last year's strong performance.

  • In the first half of 1997, single-family permit activity in the Northwest's strong Portland-Salem and Puget Sound markets was close to very strong 1996 levels for the same period.


    Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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