Housing starts, mortgage applications decrease in May

The first half of this year has been one full of ups and downs, especially regarding the U.S. housing market. Today's homebuyers and sellers can expect a wide range of conditions from one coast to the other, and the real estate agents tasked with helping them have to keep a close eye on the sector.

The first half of this year has been one full of ups and downs, especially regarding the U.S. housing market. Today's homebuyers and sellers can expect a wide range of conditions from one coast to the other, and the real estate agents tasked with helping them have to keep a close eye on the sector.

Recently, several new trends have emerged for the real estate industry. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, both single and multifamily housing starts ticked down in May. Single-family homes were produced at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of slightly more than 1 million, a 6.5 percent drop on a monthly basis. However, that represents a 9.4 percent increase year-over-year.

Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, explained that builders are coping with several issues, including supply chain problems, possibly explaining the dip in production.

"The encouraging news is that single-family permits are up by almost 4 percent," said David Crowe, NAHB chief economist, in a statement. "The modest increase is evidence that builders expect continued release of pent-up demand and a gradual expansion of the housing market. We are still forecasting a 12 percent increase in total housing starts for the year."

Interest in mortgages also dips
In addition to the trend with housing production, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that interest in residential financing has also started to slip.

For May, the organization's Builder Application Survey found that mortgage applications for new homes slipped 8 percent on a monthly basis. Conventional loans made up more than 69 percent of the total, while FHA loans accounted for 15.5 percent. The MBA also pointed to a lower estimate for new single-family home sales, down 10.7 percent from April's pace.

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