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Residential construction, confidence tick up across country

Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 9:01:47 AM

Homebuyers interested in residential financing and the U.S. housing market as a whole often keep an eye on market trends and other growth indicators.

Recently, they've had something to be happy about. The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development noted in a joint release that in February, building permits hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,018,000 units - or 7.7 percent above January's revised rate. In addition, it is also 6.9 percent higher year-over-year.

Housing completions also increased in February, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 886,000, according to the report. That is up 4.4 percent compared to the revised January estimate.

Throughout the housing market, buyers are showing a growing confidence in current conditions. The National Association of Realtors reported that younger homebuyers are especially optimistic. On the other hand, slightly fewer older buyers were confident, but many noted an interest in trading down to smaller properties.

"Given that Millennials are the largest generation in history after the baby boomers, it means there is a potential for strong underlying demand," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. "Moreover, their aspiration and the long-term investment aspect to owning a home remain solid among young people."

NAR also explained that recent buyers have been predominantly younger, a good indicator of further housing and economic growth.