Single-family housing starts were up 4.2% from April and 49.8% from May 2020, at 1,098,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Increasing costs and declining availability of key building materials dampened builder sentiment, as higher costs have pushed some new homes beyond the budget of prospective buyers.
The Boston Planning & Development Agency approved a request from developers to replace a previously approved hotel portion of their 150 Kneeland St. development with residences.
With high costs slowing construction and potentially lowering homeownership for many, easing zoning rules may be the most effective way to increase the supply of new housing.
Longer-commute areas continued to claim the largest market share in single-family homebuilding, but the construction growth rate was strongest in places with shorter commuting times, the National Association of Home Builders said, citing its quarterly Home Building Geography Index.
Special questions added to the National Association of Home Builders’ monthly builder survey found 90% or more of respondents had experienced shortages of plywood, oriented strand board, framing lumber and appliances, with most other materials also hard to come by.
Builder confidence was steady in May, carrying over April’s reading of 83 for another month, according to the most recent National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.
Lumber prices have tripled over the past 12 months, driving up the price of the average new single-family home by $35,872. NAHB hopes to alleviate the situation by meeting with the White House, lawmakers and others.
Low mortgage rates and low inventory levels are making the demand for homebuilding more attractive to buyers in Boston and nationwide.
The DHS announcement comes in response to businesses reporting an immediate need for supplemental, temporary guest workers for this fiscal year.