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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 97-277
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-1420Thursday
Or contact your local HUD officeNovember 20, 1997


WASHINGTON -- Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today released HUD's U.S. Housing Market Conditions report, which shows that housing production continued at a strong pace in the third quarter of this year.

"This report is good news," Cuomo said. "Increased housing production benefits homebuyers and renters, creates jobs and strengthens our economy."

If the year-to-date rates for housing permits, housing starts and sales of manufactured homes continue into the fourth quarter, 1997 will be one of the best years of the past decade, the report concludes.

The report shows that third quarter sales of both new and existing homes are at record-setting levels. If the fourth quarter continues at the rates set in the first three quarters, new home sales in 1997 will be the highest in the last 18 years.

Sales of existing homes continue to break records, and if the fourth quarter continues at the pace set in the first three quarters, 1997 will have the highest ever sales of existing homes.

Low interest rates, favorable housing affordability, and a strong economy led to an all-time record high quarterly homeownership rate of 66 percent in the third quarter. Homeownership has increased or remained stable in 12 of the last 13 quarters, reversing the decline that occurred between 1980 and 1985.

U.S. Housing Market Conditions contains analyses of regional and local housing markets compiled by HUD's field economists, who reported that job market conditions remain favorable.

All regions reported employment growth, ranging from slow improvement in the New York/New Jersey to highest of the 1990s in the Mid-Atlantic. The Pacific region has rebounded sharply, reflecting the improvement in California. The Northwest continues to benefit from the activity in aerospace and high technology industries.

Sales of both new and existing homes have remained very strong. The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is expected to have the best year for home sales of the 1990s. The Midwest region should have one of the best years of the past 15. Denver area existing home sales are poised to set a record in 1997. Sales in the San Francisco Bay Area, Orange County, and San Diego also increased substantially during the first three quarters of the year. Las Vegas remains a very strong market and Phoenix may set a record in 1997.

Rental housing market conditions remain good throughout the country. New England is on track to have its most productive year for apartment construction since 1990, particularly in the Boston area and southern New Hampshire. Manhattan's rental market is very tight, although almost 8,000 new rental units will be completed in 1998 and 1999. In the Southeast, construction is up significantly in almost every major market in Florida, where strong demand has attracted large amounts of investment capital. Midwest rental housing markets are reporting apartment occupancy in the 93 to 96 percent range, and construction activity continues at a healthy pace.

The Southwest apartment boom has continued, with all states reporting increased building permit activity during the first nine months of 1997. In the Rocky Mountain region, Denver may also have its best year of the 1990s.

This issue of U.S. Housing Market Conditions contains information for the following highlighted metropolitan: Manchester, NH; Rochester, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; Jacksonville, FL; St. Cloud, MN; Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; Kansas City MO/KN; Denver, CO; Las Vegas; and Portland OR/Vancouver WA.

Each quarter, U.S. Housing Market Conditions covers a topic of special interest to the housing community. This quarter's article examines the 1996 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data, which is widely used by researchers and policymakers to identify mortgage market trends and to measure how well lenders are serving their communities.

The report shows that the recent growth in total HMDA mortgage applications reflects an increase in the reporting of loans by manufactured housing lenders and subprime lenders who serve people with low credit ratings.

Manufactured home and subprime originations comprise a significant share of origination for low-income and minority borrowers. The high rejection rates for manufactured home and subprime applications (exceeding 50 percent in 1996) make it important for policy analysts to conduct separate analyses of these loans.

After controlling for manufactured home and subprime applications, the rejection rates for black and Hispanic borrowers on other loans are not significantly different from their 1993 levels.

U.S. Housing Market Conditions brings together data from the housing, real estate, and primary and secondary mortgage markets. Data are collected from housing organizations such as the National Association of Homebuilders, the National Association of Realtors, the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Other data come from HUD, the Census Bureau and the Commerce Department.

The report, issued quarterly, is available by subscription at a cost of $30 per year. Write HUD USER, PO Box 6091, Rockville, MD 20849, or call HUD USER at 1(800)245-2691 and is also available on HUD's website.


Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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