Thursday, September 17, 2009

Housing Starts Relatively Flat

Marketwatch reports some slightly misleading data:

New construction of U.S. houses increased in August, the Commerce Department estimated Thursday. Starts rose 1.5% in August to a seasonally adjusted 598,000 annualized units roughly in line with the 600,000 pace expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. This is the highest level of starts since last November. Starts of new single-family homes fell 3.0% to 479,000 in August, for the first decline in six months. Starts of large apartment units jumped 25.3% to 119,000.
Did large apartments jump 25.3%? Sure, but that is off a near all-time low (the all time low was in April) and is still 49.8% below levels from August 2008.


But as I've detailed before, as we work off existing inventory, less starts = good.

Source: Census