Commerce Department Reports Housing-Start Surge

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Waterfront Properties and Club Communities’ northern Palm Beach County neighborhoods are experiencing new construction in addition to renovations.

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Rob Thomson, managing partner of Waterfront Properties and Club Communities, welcomed the Commerce Department report and said it comes at an opportune time during America’s economic recovery.

September saw an increase of 15 percent from August in all-important housing starts – the most significant surge since July of 2008.

According to the Commerce Department, which released the figures Oct. 17, the number of new builds for the year topped out at 872,000 units. Housing experts jumped at the good news, and said it’s further proof of an ever-growing market recovery.

Rob Thomson, managing partner of Waterfront Properties and Club Communities, welcomed the Commerce Department report and said it comes at an opportune time during America’s economic recovery.

The major indicators of a growing economy all are up: consumer confidence, which results in stronger spending; single-family-home prices, which gives residential real estate a competitive edge; and homes sales, the key to a robust return to good times. At the same time, other economic indicators are down, including the unemployment rate and the mortgage-interest rate.

The unemployment rate released earlier in October was 7.8 percent – the lowest since January 2009. A total of 114,000 jobs were created or added by employers in September. Meanwhile, the mortgage rate dropped to 3.37 percent – one-100th of a percent above its lowest level in more than 40 years.

Economists describe the Commerce Department report as a bright spot as America lifts itself out of the recession. They predicted new residential-construction projects would come in at 770,000 units. They estimate every new build accounts for three new jobs.

Breaking down the numbers, groundbreaking on single-family homes increased 11 percent, while starts on townhouses, condominiums and other multifamily residences rose 25.1 percent. Also in September, there was an 11.6-percent increase in the number of building permits issued.

In North Palm Beach, a new housing project is under way by Toll Brothers. Frenchman’s Harbor is a waterfront site that will offer 78 Intracoastal Waterway homes for sale at the corner of Donald Ross and Ellison Wilson roads.

There also are a number of renovation projects in the works in the area. Admiral's Cove in Jupiter is beautifying its marina space and adding on to its clubhouse. The renovations are expected to be completed before the end of 2012.

Lost Tree Village in North Palm Beach recently renovated its restaurant and beach club, and now it has several home-construction and remodeling projects.

PGA National will complete its four-year, $65 million rehabilitation project at Palm Beach Garden’s flagship community later this month.

Property sales in Palm Beach County are on the rise. For information, call 561-746-7272.

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