Thursday, August 28, 2008

Homeowners Benefit from Lower Housing Starts!

Housing starts are down and that may be good news for home sellersHousing Starts measure the number of new housing "units" on which construction has started and in July, Housing Starts fell to its lowest levels since March 1991.

For homeowners, this is a welcome bit of good news because as fewer homes are built, there is less inventory from which home buyers can choose, making their homes a more important part of the existing home inventory.

With fewer homes for sale, the supply-and-demand curve shifts in favor of home sellers and this adds a support floor for home prices. In addition, with less new construction , those homes built in the past few years become more attractive to potential home buyers who are looking for the newest home possible.

For home buyers, though -- and for the opposite reason -- the low number of Housing Starts may not be as welcome.

With fewer new homes on the market, owners of "used" homes may feel less pressure to lower their asking prices or to make other concessions to interested buyers. This means that home buyers may pay more for a home, or get fewer "throw-ins" on the contract.

For all of the hocus-pocus that surrounds real estate data, in the end, home prices are based on the supply of homes versus the demand for homes. When supply outpaces demand, home prices fall.

Homebuilders learned this lesson and July's Housing Starts data supports that.

(Image Courtesy: Wall Street Journal Online)