Lackluster home building hurts first-time buyers

Whats-Going-On.001-480x360By Lawrence Yun | Forbes

(Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.)

What is going on with home builders? Housing starts refuse to rise in any meaningful way, despite the ongoing shortage in the number of homes on the market and falling rental vacancy rates. What is being built is getting quickly sold. Housing starts totaled 1.06 million on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate in October, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday, and the average time to find a buyer was 3.3 months — near record lows. The housing starts figure is the lowest in seven months and is even below the level we saw a year ago. A big negative consequence of the continuing lackluster homebuilding activity is that renters are suffering and are having a hard time converting into ownership.

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