Homebuilders had a good summer. With fewer existing homes for sale, the new home market was hot. But as summer faded into fall, it began to cool. That's why new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development come as a welcome surprise. The data shows the number of housing starts rose 7 percent in September, with a 3.2 percent month-over-month increase in the number of single-family homes that began construction. That's good news for buyers, as additional for-sale inventory helps moderate home price increases.
Robert Dietz, NAHB's chief economist, says the housing market's inventory issue continues to help builders. “Despite ongoing challenges in the market, the housing deficit of resale inventory continues to provide some market support for builders,” Dietz said. “Because of a lack of existing homes in the marketplace, 31 percent of homes available for sale in August were new construction. This compares with a historical average in the 12-14 percent range.”