Building Pace Another Promising Sign for House Hunters

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

689,000

The Balance

That’s how many single-family homes were under construction at the end of July, according to new government data—the most for any month since 2007 and a positive sign for house hunters discouraged by the shortage of candidates. 

While supply and labor constraints meant builders started work on 4.5% fewer single-family homes in July than June, the number in some phase of construction continued to rise, reaching its highest point since the housing bubble, according to seasonally adjusted data released Wednesday. Homebuilding may have hit a ceiling for the time being—but it’s a high one, economists said.

“There is a significant backlog that should keep construction activity running on all cylinders for the foreseeable future,” economists at First Trust Advisors wrote in a commentary. “ As more homes become available, we expect demand will remain strong and help maintain a rapid pace of sales in 2021.”

The strong construction trend, along with the end of pandemic-era mortgage forbearance programs, should help ease the severe shortage of homes on the market, according to economists.

Have a question, comment, or story to share? You can reach Diccon at dhyatt@thebalance.com.