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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 99-92
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Tuesday
Or contact your local HUD officeMay 25, 1999


WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today released the U.S. Housing Market Conditions 1st Quarter Report, which showed that housing market activity for the beginning of 1999 continued last year's record-setting pace.

"The strong economy created by President Clinton's policies, along with HUD's homeownership programs, are helping more families become homeowners," Cuomo said.

U.S. Housing Market Conditions collects data from the housing, real estate and primary and secondary mortgage markets. HUD field economists gather data from housing organizations such as the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Realtors®, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Other data come from HUD and the Commerce Department.

The HUD report on conditions in January, February and March 1999 found:

  • New home sales totaled 902,000, the second-highest total ever for a first quarter.

  • Existing home sales totaled 5,037,000 according to the National Association of Realtors, up 8 per cent from the same period last year.

  • Housing permits totaled 1,718,000, the highest first-quarter rate in 13 years. Single-family permits set a new record the first quarter of 1,272,000.

  • Construction was started on 1,792,000 homes, up 13 percent from the first quarter of last year. As with permits, this is the highest first-quarter rate in 13 years.

Regional market highlights for the first quarter of 1999 include:

  • Single-family building permit activity was up in every region but the Northwest, where first-quarter activity was only slightly behind the 1998 level for the same period.

  • In the New England region, single-family activity was up about 2 percent. The HUD report spotlights Springfield, MA.

  • In the New York/New Jersey region, residential building permits in New York State increased to 8,260 units during the first quarter, up 24 percent from the same period a year ago. New Jersey showed a 20 percent increase over the 1998 first quarter. Bergen-Passaic, NJ, is the spotlighted area in this region.

  • In the Mid-Atlantic region, existing home sales were boosted by a 23 percent gain in the Richmond, VA, area and 15 percent gain in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. All states in the region recorded increases in single-family building permits. The spotlighted community for this region is Charleston, WV.

  • For the Southeast/Caribbean region, there was a 15 percent increase in building permit activity for the first 3 months of the year. Rental housing market conditions remain strong in Columbia, SC, the highlighted area in the HUD report for this region.

  • Home construction in the Midwest region was relatively strong, with an 8 percent increase in building permits for single-family homes as compared to the same period last year. Rochester, MN, is the featured community for this region.

  • In the Southwest region, existing home sales were up in Albuquerque by 7 percent above the first quarter of 1998, and new home construction set a new record. The spotlight in this region is on downtown housing in the Southwest.

  • In the Great Plains region, building permits for new residential construction reached a 20-year high in 1998 and the demand has carried over into the new year, with single-family activity up nearly 17 percent above first-quarter 1998 volume. The HUD report spotlights St. Charles County, MO.

  • For the Rocky Mountain region, despite a recent slowing of the economy in this area, existing home sales in Denver continued to climb, up 11 percent from the first quarter of last year. Pueblo, CO, is the region's spotlighted community in the HUD report.

  • In the Pacific region, building permits were up 10 percent. The median sales price for Phoenix was up 10 percent in the first quarter, while Las Vegas resales were up more than 20 percent from a year earlier. Led by a strengthening in the condominium market, Honolulu gained 15 percent in resale values. The report spotlights Riverside-San Bernardino, CA.

  • In the Northwest region, home sales remained strong during the first quarter, up 9 percent in Portland, OR. Existing home sales are also up in Boise, ID, the spotlighted community.

U.S. Housing Market conditions is available on the Internet at http://www.huduser.org/periodicals/ushmc.html

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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