Here is something you already know: housing market conditions are most commonly judged by national statistics. For instance, according to figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau, sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 7.9 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 421,000 units. We all can probably agree that is a good thing.
But few among us break ground far beyond our own backyard, which is to say that while a 7.9 percent increase is certainly encouraging, it is no way indicative of business conditions everywhere. We know certain areas of the country saw new construction go gangbusters this summer while others were stymied by higher interest rates. From 10,000 feet, the market is looking healthier each day. Look a little closer and you’ll see, from region to region, conditions run the gamut.
For instance, according to the National Association of Home Builders, “Three out of four regions posted solid gains in new-home sales activity in August. Sales rose 8.8 percent in the Northeast, 19.6 percent in the Midwest and 15.3 percent in the South for the month. The West was the exception to the rule, with a 14.6 percent decline.”
A 14.6 percent decline?
As the first week of autumn draws to an end, we’re curious to know how your summer went. Was it better than the previous summer? How did it compare to the mid-’00s? Was it better or worse than expected? What were the biggest market forces in your area?