The data from housing continues to show promise (yesterday and this morning), albeit from very low levels of activity. As one of the job sources that cannot be outsourced, it is obviously an important lever in any realistic economic recovery that is not derived from trillion plus government deficits. Even locally there were two stories yesterday in the papers about the lack of inventory as so many people are deeply underwater they cannot afford to sell, and a great majority of other inventory is foreclosures. Hence well kept houses are flying off the shelves. It is a very interesting situation as the normal inventory in many parts of the country is not open to the market due to so many people being underwater.
- Beginning construction of U.S. homes rose more than forecast in June to the fastest rate in almost four years, indicating a brighter outlook for the residential real estate market.
- Housing starts rose 6.9 percent last month to a 760,000 annual pace after a revised 711,000 rate in May that was faster than initially estimated. The median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 745,000 rate. Building permits fell, reflecting a drop in applications for apartment construction.
- The June pace of home starts was the fastest since October 2008. Ground-breaking on new homes in May was revised from a previously reported 708,000 annual pace.
- Construction of single-family houses increased 4.7 percent to a 539,000 rate, the fastest since April 2010, from 515,000 a month earlier, today’s figures showed. Work on apartment buildings and other multifamily units climbed 12.8 percent to an annual rate of 221,000 in June from 196,000 a month earlier.
- Two of four regions had an increase in overall starts in June, including a 36.9 percent jump in the West to a 219,000 annual rate, the fastest since April 2008. Starts climbed 22.2 percent in the Northeast.
- A report yesterday showed confidence among U.S. homebuilders climbed in July by the most since September 2002. An index of builder sentiment from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo increased by 6 points in July to 35.
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