KNAU and Arizona News
4:36 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Housing Starts in AZ Up

Housing starts across the country are at their highest annual rate since 2008.

The US Commerce Department reports that national housing starts increased nearly 4% in October.

A home in California under construction.
Credit Rishichhibber

And economists are saying that the housing market has decisively turned around since its collapse.

The National Association of Home Builders reports that the hard-hit Phoenix market saw a 64% increase in building permits through the third quarter of this year, compared to last.

Spencer Kamps, with the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona, says after an 80% drop in housing starts since 2005, any improvement is a good thing.

And he says most of the homes being built are for first time homebuyers.

“People don’t have a lot of cash obviously, so you’re not looking at the high end housing, but more the moderately priced $150,000 to $200,000, the entry level type homes," Kamps said.

Kamps pointed out that after the market collapse his region had some 50,000 empty, but improved, lots waiting for houses.

He says most of the new building is going in there rather than in new developments.