Even more proof that we're done with the recession. Reports show that we were actually done with in a year ago. And now with all of the positive reports, consumer confidence is returning. The proof is in the pudding. And with Lennar's recent reports, and this one provided by Reuters, it has become clear: The housing slump is over. And it's only a matter of time before the deals of a lifetime are snatched up by savvy buyers. Interest rates are in the high 3's to low 4's! Now's the time.
U.S. Housing Starts in August Topped Forecasts
Published: September 21, 2010
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Housing starts in the United States increased more than expected in August to their highest level in four months and permits for residential construction also rose, government data showed on Tuesday, suggesting that the embattled market was starting to stabilize following the end of a tax credit.
The Commerce Department said housing starts rose 10.5 percent, the largest increase since November, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 598,000 units. July's residential construction was revised down to show a 0.4 percent gain, which was previously reported as a 1.7 percent increase.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected housing starts to rise to a 550,000-unit rate. Compared with August a year ago, housing starts were up 2.2 percent.
New building permits rebounded 1.8 percent to a 569,000-unit pace last month after a 4.1 percent drop in July, lifted by a 9.8 percent rise in permits for multifamily units. Analysts had expected a 560,000-unit pace in August.
The housing market has hit a soft patch after the end of a homebuyer tax credit in April. A combination of high unemployment and an oversupply of homes is also weighing on the sector, which was the main catalyst of the worst recession since the Great Depression.
The downturn ended in June last year, but the economic recovery has since lost momentum, sparking fears in financial markets of a renewed recession.
Residential construction in August was lifted by a 32.2 percent jump in groundbreaking activity in the volatile multifamily segment to an annual rate of 160,000 units.
Single-family starts increased 4.3 percent to a 438,000-unit pace, the highest since June.
Home completions increased 5.6 percent to a 603,000-unit pace, also the highest since June. The inventory of total houses under construction was unchanged at 444,000 units last month, while the total number of units authorized but not yet started fell 3.1 percent to a record low 87,000 units