The housing industry and the residential construction industry is still the catalyst for a rebounding economy. Single-family permits and starts gained ground in July. Low-interest rates and the importance of homes due to COVID-19 have fueled the buyer’s market.

According to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), single-family permits rose 17% in July. So far in 2020, the total permits for single-family homes on year-to-date bases are up around 6% higher than the first seven months of 2019.

The HMI is based on data collected from the NAHB’s monthly survey which the National Association of Home Builders has been conducting for 30 years. It measures builder’s perceptions of the current single-family home sales and expectations of sales for the next six months. Builders will rate their perception as good, fair or poor.

There are signs that more gains for single-family starts are on the horizon. This can be determined by the fast pace of permits and the renewal of builder confidence. The graph shows that single-family construction has been on the rise since it hit a low in April from the pandemic. April had a 679,000 annual pace while July saw a 940,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate.

Per region single-family starts are up and down depending on the region. In the Northeast single-family starts are down on a year-to-date basis 1%, in the South, they are up 0.7%, in the Midwest they are up 3.4% and in the West, they are also in the positive at 0.5%.

So far the housing market has remained strong during these unprecedented times. The count of single-family homes in various stages of construction is still on the rise. Now is a good time to sell or purchase a home.

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