- Jul 06, 2015
Housing starts of buildings with five or more units fell by 7.1 percent over the month of March 2015 to 287,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Still, the three-month moving average of housing starts of buildings with five or more units, 321,333 units, exceeds the average level between the years 2000 and 2007 by 6.7 percent, stats NAHB.
NAHB reports that existing condo and co-op sales, measured at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, rose by 7.1 percent during March to 600,000 units. All regions recorded month-over-month gains with the Northeast rising by 11.1 percent, the Midwest surging by 14.3 percent, the South expanding by 12.0 percent and the West increasing by 7.7 percent. Median existing condo and co-op sales prices rose by 1.6 percent on a not seasonally adjusted basis over the past year to $201,400 per unit.
Total apartment returns tracked by the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries increased to 2.85 percent in the first quarter from 2.77 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 and 2.21 percent in the first quarter of 2014. Total returns for commercial real estate, meanwhile, increased to 3.07 percent in the first quarter from 3.04 percent in the fourth quarter.
Apartment REITs shares show a year-to-date total return of 5.93 percent, but a quarter-to-date decline of 1.73 percent, according to data from the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.
Following seven consecutive monthly declines, energy prices rose for the second consecutive month by 1.1 percent in March 2015, NAHB reports. However, energy prices remain 18.3 percent below their level from one year ago.
According to NAHB, shelter prices, which account for the largest portion of consumer expenditures, rose by 0.3 percent as rental prices increased by 0.3 percent. Since rental prices rose faster than overall inflation, as measured by core-CPI, then real rental prices also grew.