Housing Market Recovery Accelerating, Now 47% Back to Normal
In October 2012, all three housing measures improved: construction starts increased again, existing-home sales rose, and the delinquency + foreclosure rate dropped considerably. Even though construction and sales declined month-over-month in the Northeast region, stronger activity in the rest of the country outweighed the impact of Hurricane Sandy.
- Construction starts rose from last month’s high. Starts in October were at an 894,000 annualized rate, up 4% month-over-month after a big jump in September and up 42% year-over-year. Nationally, construction starts are 41% of the way back to normal.
- Existing-home sales recovered in October. After slipping in September, existing home sales rose 2% month-over-month to 4.79 million in October and are now just a bit below their post-crisis high of 4.83 million in August. Sales are 59% back to normal–more than halfway.
- The delinquency + foreclosure rate dropped to a post-crisis low. In October, 10.64% of mortgages were delinquent or in foreclosure, down sharply from 11.27% in September and from 11.88% in October 2011. The combined delinquency + foreclosure rate is at its lowest level in four years and is 41% back to normal.