This was a big week for housing data, with more signs pointing toward demand building. The key question for the housing market will be whether new and existing home supply will follow suit.
New construction starts in December were up 4.4%, inching closer to an annualized rate of 1.1 million, which we have not seen since 2007. The increase was driven by single-family, which is a good early sign that homebuilders are gearing production for greater demand in the spring. The December pace of single-family starts was 728,000 units, the highest number since March 2008.
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Hedge funds and private equity firms have been rushing in to buy up companies and assets in every part of the housing supply chain, including undeveloped land, homebuilders, foreclosed homes, and building parts manufacturers.
One of the most notable moves is coming from hedge fund manager John Paulson, best known for his big (and lucrative) bets against subprime mortgages in 2006 and 2007.
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dsnews.com - The expectation for prices to continue rising is creating urgency among consumers to buy now, according to a Redfin survey of 1,084 active homebuyers.
The percentage of homebuyers who believe prices are bound to move higher in the next 12 months increased to 71 percent in the fourth quarter from 61 percent in third quarter, according to the survey. The fourth quarter share is also more than double from 34 percent in the first quarter.
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