Housing surges, but resales falter

Helped by good weather and strong consumer confidence, the U.S. housing market remained strong in February, though the gains in new home sales and housing starts were offset by softness in the big market for existing home sales.

Resales, by far the biggest segment of the market — and the one that draws in the most entry-level buyers, perhaps the ones most affected by rising rates — slipped by 2.8 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual level of 5.9 million, as some consumers started to worry that mortgage rates will rise as the economy picks up steam. Indeed, mortgage rates have begun to tick up during the past several weeks, according to Freddie Mac, with rates on a 30-year mortgage inching up to 7.14 percent late in March from 6.89 percent in February.

"Obviously low mortgage rates are the key to a strong housing market, but rising consumer confidence and a growing number of households bode well for the future." said Martin Edwards, Jr., president of the National Association of Realtors.

Sales of new homes and housing starts — the two segments of the market that cater to the more affluent home buyer — surged ahead, with new home sales gaining by 5.3 percent, and starts jumping up by 2.8 percent. Starts of single-family homes were notably strong, climbing by 7.4 percent, but the overall total for starts was capped by a 12.0 percent decline in apartment starts.

Housing by region
Month-to-month % change

Existing home sales Housing starts New home sales
Northeast +1.4% -9.3% -10.1%
Midwest -0.8 +0.8 -0.6
South -0.4 +0.9 +9.9
West -0.4 +14.0 +6.7

Featured Video

  • 1200 Suppliers are Ready for You at Intertextile Shanghai

    Camera Icon More Videos

Subscribe to
Home & Textiles Today eDaily
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.


HTT August 2017

See the August 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Top 50 Retailing Giants Report, plus Manufacturing: Made in the USA gaining ground; International: Portugal ramping up exports; New products: NY Now home textiles introductions; Outlook: Commentary from H&TT's editors; and Planning: Trade show calendar.

See details!