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Opinion, commentary and analysis on everything that makes the U.S. housing economy tick -- not to mention the ghosts in the machine, too. Written by HW's team of editors and reporters each business day.

Census releases 2011 housing characteristics

June 5, 2012

It looks like FHA-insured mortgages may be simmering down and conventional mortgages may be picking back up – even if only slightly.

The US Census Bureau released their report “Characteristics of New Housing” for the year 2011. While conventional mortgages hit an all-time low (percentage wise) in 2010 and FHA-backed mortgages hit an all-time high, those numbers moved a little closer to normal in 2011.

62% of all new single-family homes sold were financed by a conventional loan compared to 58% in 2010 and 62% in 2009. 20% were financed by an FHA-insured loan compared to 25% in 2010, and 24% in 2009. While this is obviously not a sustained pattern, it is a small indication that things may be heading back to normal.

Other highlights of the report can be found here, and the full report can be found here. While it’s easy to take data table for granted (there are more than 200 in the full report), the Census Bureau is hard to beat when it comes to real numbers. This new report is a dream for all of you real estate nerds out there.

For those of you not-so-nerdy, there are entertaining things in there too. For instance, 88% of all single-family homes completed in 2011 had air-conditioning. By region, the proportions were 81% in the Northeast, 91% in the Midwest, 99% in the South and 62% in the West.

Given that the high today here in Dallas is 95 degrees F, I feel the most sorry for those living in the 1% of new homes with no air conditioning. I hope you at least have a fan.

jhuseman@housingwire.com
@JessicaHuseman

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