- Jun 22, 2015
February was the first month since June 2014 that housing starts of buildings with five or more units totaled less than 300,000 units, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
NAHB also reveals that existing condo and co-op sales, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, were unchanged in February 2015.
Mortgage bankers’ originations index hit a high mark of 375 in the fourth quarter, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. This index exceeds that of all other quarters in the past two years since the fourth quarter of 2012.
Construction costs may also have eased, according to NAHB. The price of inputs to construction fell by 3.9 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis over the 12 months ending in February.
Energy prices remain 18.8 percent below their level from one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index—Urban Consumer (CPI)—rose by 0.2 percent in February 2015, but the price of a basket of consumer goods was unchanged over the last 12 months.
Rental prices rose faster than overall inflation. Core-CPI grew by 0.157 percent while rental prices expanded by 0.342 percent, according to NAHB.