January knows how to kickstart 2018 with a bang for housing. Both, Housing Starts and Permits posted very strong numbers, beating expectations. Housing Starts were up almost 10%, greatly surpassing the predicted 3.4% gain. Housing Permits were up 7.5%, a 10.5-year high. No wonder builder confidence for February remained at a high of 72. Good news: the rise in construction will help tame the rise in home prices we’ve seen but not so much for homeowners to miss out on leveraging their home equity.
Grand Rapids and Detroit scored the No. 3 and No. 13 spots, respectively, on best cities for first-time homebuyers. Growing economies and affordable housing are the two key factors. Denver, CO was named most challenging city for first-time homebuyers.