Housing Starts Offer Little Good News

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PLANO, Texas – The latest figures on housing starts likely signal that credit union lending will remain flat for some time.

That is the analysis of Brian Turner, director of advisory services for Southwest Corporate Investment Services, a CUSO of Southwest Bridge Corporate FCU. Turner noted that new housing starts fell 1.5% in July to an annualized pace of 604,000 units, compared with 613,000 in June. Through the first seven months of 2011, annualized housing starts are averaging around 566,000, the second fewest on record and only 12,000 units ahead of 2009’s lowest record level, Turner reported. Housing starts most recently peaked at 2.07-million in 2005, when the average 30-year mortgage rate then was 5.72%, compared with today’s 4.32%.

Turner said building permits, typically a gauge of future construction, also declined in July to an annual pace of 597,000 units. This included a 4.9% decline in single-family houses but a 7.8% increase in multi-family homes such as town homes and apartments.


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