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New home construction remains strong during COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated: Jun. 10, 2020 at 6:40 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The housing market appears to be standing strong despite the hits the rest of the economy is taking from the coronavirus pandemic.

Nationwide, sales of newly constructed homes were up 21 percent in May compared to May of last year, according to a survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting LLC. The Greater Montgomery Home Builders Association says official numbers for May are not available yet, but believes the River Region is right on track with those numbers.

“The demand has increased, which is which has been great," said Jimmy Adams, GMHBA President. “Our housing starts from January of this year to now has gone up about 150 more starts than what we had in January. So it’s been very good. So I think that as we’re coming out of this people are starting to realize that okay, hey, it’s not really affecting my ability to purchase, rates are still low. Let me take advantage of mine.”

Adams points to the easing of stay-at-home restrictions and near record low mortgage rates for the increases.

“If we’re looking at our industry, I would say the outlook is very, very positive. And I say that because year over year from last year, home starts are actually up about two and a half percent right now and then like I said, this year, home starts are up over 100 houses, just from January to now."

Adams says that’s very encouraging but it’s not just home starts, but sales as well.

“We wouldn’t continue to build if we weren’t selling them,” Adams says. "So, you know, to be honest, it hasn’t really negatively affect the home industry. So as you said, that’s a very good indicator that our economy is moving forward.”

The spring is typically the most important season for home builders. According to Adams, this spring has been just as strong as years past.

“Between spring and summer, that’s our most most crucial time of the year for us to try to put out as many homes as we can. That’s typically when the weather’s nice. People are out wanting to shop. You know, the grass is green, flowers are blooming, everything just looks great. Curb appeal is good. So yes, not only that, you know, kids are out of school for the summer. So that’s typically when people want to try to make that transition is when the kids are not in school. So yes, the spring and summer is our biggest part of the year. It’s been great.” Adams adds.

Read more of John Burns Real Estate Consulting’s analysis of the market here.

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