Fewer permits issued for new homes in July

November 07th, 2011

Fewer permits were issued for new houses in July 2011, compared with the previous month. Permits for new houses fell 3.2 percent, more than analysts had expected, according to the Commerce Department. New housing projects were stalled in part by the large number of foreclosures on the market.

Foreclosures stall housing market

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank said in a statement:

There are still a significant number of foreclosed homes on the market across the country, making it more difficult for the new housing market to grow. Our focus is on job creation, because as more people find employment in good paying jobs, they will become more likely to invest in a home--driving the inventory of foreclosed homes down and the construction of new homes up. This administration will continue to work with Congress to pass job-creating measures that will boost not only the housing market but our entire economic outlook.

Multi-family home projects slow

Much of the reason for the overall decline in permits being issued was a drop in those issued for multi-family housing with five or more units. Permits rose in July for single-family and two- to four-family houses.

Help from mortgage calculators

With fewer new homes going up, it's likely that many people who would have moved to such developments a few years back may be choosing to remain in their current homes and refinance their mortgages. If you've put off buying a new home and are looking to stay put until the housing market improves, refinancing at current low mortgage rates could be the right move. Use a refinance calculator to determine if this is the right time to refinance.

Even though mortgage rates have been at or near historic lows, it is important to examine all factors affecting your mortgage loan. If your credit or income level have changed significantly since you obtained a mortgage, they could play a huge factor in type of mortgage rates you are offered by lenders. Use a prequalification calculator to get an idea of how mortgage lenders might view you as a borrower. Running the numbers with free mortgage calculators could help you decide whether it makes sense to refinance now or just wait a while until you can actually afford to buy a new home.

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