New Home Starts Down With Exception of Under $350K
North Texas homebuilders eased off construction in the fourth quarter as some buyers took a break from the housing market.
"We had a downtick in the home start activity," said Ted Wilson of Dallas housing analyst Residential Strategies. "Our starts, for the first time in some time, were off about 750 units compared to a year ago.
"It doesn't surprise me — it's kind of what I was expecting."
Wilson said higher mortgage costs and more uncertainties about the U.S. economy caused new homebuyers to pull back from the market in the final months of 2018.
"The builders said that the higher mortgage rates were making the affordability issue more pronounced," he said. "Some builders said their sales were off 15 to 20 percent.
"And our finished home inventory numbers were up a bit."
D-FW builders started 7,221 homes in the fourth quarter, bringing the total for the year to 34,992 home starts — 3 percent more than in 2017, according to Residential Strategies...