November 17, 2004
HUD LAUDS 6.4 PERCENT RISE IN NEW HOME STARTS
Statement from HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson
The Census Bureau today released data that shows the number of new home starts totaled an estimated 2.02 million in October, up 6.4 percent from September 2004 and increased by 2.2 percent from October 2003.
"These figures continue to show that housing is at the forefront of our nation's economic recovery," said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. "The increases are visible in new home starts, new and existing home sales, and shipments of new manufactured homes. The Bush Administration remains committed to increasing the number of Americans who own their own homes - the key to wealth for most families - by adding millions of new homeowners, including 5.5 million new minority homeowners by the end of the decade."
Regionally, new home starts increased in all four regions: 20 percent in the Northeast, 8.6 percent in the Midwest, 5 percent in the West, and 4 percent in the South. Single-family home starts totaled 1.64 million, up 5.7 percent from September and multifamily home starts totaled 338,000, up 7 percent from September and up 9.0 percent from October 2003.
Sales of new single-family homes in September totaled 1.2 million, up 3.5 percent from August 2004 and up 7.0 percent from September 2003. This is the third highest monthly rate. In addition, sales of existing homes in September totaled 6.75 million, a 3.1 percent increase from August and a 1 percent increase from September 2003.
Manufactured home shipments in September totaled 135,000, an increase of 8 percent from August and an increase of 4.7 percent from September 2003.
In June, HUD announced $161.5 million in funding for the American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI), to provide down payment and closing costs assistance to 40,000 low-income families a year. In March, HUD announced new adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) products that will make homeownership available to an additional 40,000 families annually. And in January, HUD announced the FHA Zero Down Payment Initiative that, with the support of Congress, could generate an additional 150,000 homebuyers in its first year.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.
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