"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Housing Starts

This is, of course, the joint US Census Bureau and US Department of Housing and Urban Development survey of new residential construction. It has a one-month lag, so we'll be looking at February.
January was a good month. Expectations were beat with 596,000 new homes starting construction (413,000 single-family and 171,000 buildings with five or more units), 562,000 residential building permits issued, and 512,000 residential buildings completed. For February, the Econoday-surveyed analysts are expecting a mild decline to 560,000 new homes starting construction.
And the actual results? Well, according to the report, we came in with an expectations-missing 476,000 new homes started This is particularly disappointing, since January's starts were revised upwards to 618,000. Of those 476k new starts, 375,000 were for single-family units and 96,000 were for buildings with five or more units. 517,000 residential building permits were issued, and 581,000 residential buildings were completed.

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