New home numbers hit 10-year highs, but still remain slow

Sep 18, 2015, 11:43 AM
FILE - In this June 8, 2015, file photo, a sold sign is displayed outside a new home under construc...

FILE - In this June 8, 2015, file photo, a sold sign is displayed outside a new home under construction in Mechanicsville, Va. The Commerce Department releases new home sales for July 2015 on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Builder confidence is building up again in the housing market.

September saw the highest numbers in newly-constructed single-family homes since October 2005.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Home Index is projecting about 1.1 million total housing starts this year, with few signs of slowdown.

The news comes as housing analysts hone in on what many call a housing shortage primarily caused by the lack of new builds. That shortage has been pushing up home prices and rents to new highs in a number of markets, including Phoenix.

Here, in the Valley, rent has jumped from approximately 71 cents per square foot to 81 cents per square foot in the past year alone, The Cromford Report’s Tina Tamboer told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s That Real Estate Show.

Tamboer also said high rent rates were prompting many renters to take another look at purchasing homes because of the stability that a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage can bring.

It’s that renewed interest in home purchase that seems to be spurring builders to construct again, although the National Association of Realtors said homebuilding activity for all housing types is still underperforming in the majority of large cities around the country.

But even as builders tout the progress of new home builds as slow, but happening, they also say they are concerned about the availability of lots and labor.

An NAHB survey conducted in June showed shortages in construction workers able to perform basic skills like carpentry, as well as shortages in subcontractors, were also contributing to the overall slowdown of new home construction.

Join Realtor Diane Brennan for That Real Estate Show Sundays at 8 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM

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New home numbers hit 10-year highs, but still remain slow