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The number of single-family homes built-for-rent appears to be slowing. Over the last four quarters, total production of this type of housing was 28,000 homes, compared to 35,000 during the four quarters prior. The slowing of this market, along with its relative small size, stands in contrast to public discussion concerning the overall size of the single-family rental market. According to data from the Census Bureau’s Read More Slowdown for Single-Family Built-for-Rent Construction

Total housing starts declined in May after a few, strong early months to begin 2017. Total starts were down 5.5%, falling to a 1.092 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. Declines were recorded for both single-family and multifamily development. Single-family starts fell back, declining to a 794,000 annual rate.

After increasing and leveling off in recent years, new single-family home size continued along a general trend of decreasing size during the start of 2017. This change marks a reversal of the trend that had been in place as builders focused on the higher end of the market during the recovery. As the entry-level market expands, including growth for townhouses, typical new home size is expected to decline. According to first quarter 2017 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area was slightly lower at 2,389 square feet. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes declined to 2,628 square feet.

Total housing starts declined in April after strong early months in 2017. Total starts were down almost 3%, falling to a 1.172 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. This decrease was due to a multifamily production decline, although single-family permit activity was also softer than expected in April.

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes remained solid in April, falling three points to a level of 68 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) after an unusually high March reading. Builders continue to report significant interest among potential home buyers, with the traffic measure continuing to score above the breakeven level of 50. It was 52 in April.