Home builders had a very strong summer quarter this year, their second best in 15 years, according to a report in U.S. Housing Markets, published by Lomas Mortgage USA.

The report also said 1993 would be the best year for home-building since 1989. with the number of building permits issued nationwide reaching 1.18 million, up 7.8% since last year.

Sales Despite Slow Growth

"Low interest rates and relatively stable prices are producing home sales contracts in spite of relatively slow job growth and a high degree of consumer caution," the report said.

The gains have been uneven across the country, the Lomas report noted. In the Northeast and Midwest, new-home sales slipped by 2%, while the South saw an increase of 14%.

Hottest and Coldest

Despite the slump in California, sales climbed by 5%. Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and Arizona were the hottest markets in the country in terms of building permits issued relative to population, Lomas said.

The nation's hottest individual markets in the 12 months through Sept. 30 were Las Vegas, 17.6 permits per thousand people; Ft. Myers-Cape Coral, Fla., 13.4; Orlando, 10.9; Raleigh-Durham, N.C., 10.6; and Atlanta, 10.2.

The coldest markets: New York and Long Island, 0.8 permits per thousand; Los Angeles, 1.0; San Diego, 1.8; Orange County, Calif, 2.4; and the San Francisco Bay Area, 2.5.

The national average was 4.5 building permits per thousand people.

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