Spring Thaw May Not Heat up This Housing Market | Pound Ridge NY Homes


The severe winter weather has been a convenient scapegoat for the slowdown in the housing market. While many analysts and builders predict a significant pickup in activity in the spring, slack demand may continue to define an uneven recovery — even as green grass replaces ice in the coming months.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that groundbreaking on new homes last month tumbled 16 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 880,000 units, the lowest level since September. The percentage drop was the largest since February 2011. Starts for December were revised up to a 1.05 million-unit pace from the previously reported 999,000-unit rate.

Warmer weather could certainly get more people out looking, but with monthly payments potentially much higher this year, new buyers will have to clear a high bar.

“There must be low demand — that’s what we’re seeing,” said Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, an online real estate brokerage based in California. “We saw a huge spike in demand last year, which is why we were so confident the market had bottomed. … We’re not seeing the same thing this year, so even though there aren’t many homes for sale, there aren’t many buyers looking for them, either.”




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