Housing Starts Highest in Four Years
Construction was at a seasonally-adjusted pace of 760,000 homes per year, and rose in every region of the country. Additionally, May housing starts were revised upward to a 711,000 homes-per-year pace. The rate of construction slightly outpaced Wall Street expectations. The consensus of economists was that housing starts would be at 750,000 homes-per-year.
New housing permits fell 3.7 percent, reflecting a drop in new permits for apartment buildings.
The housing rate is higher than at any point since October of 2008, just after the start of the financial crisis. Construction has been spurred by lower interest rates and pent-up demand.
In an interview with USA Today, TD Bank economist Martin Schwerdtfeger said, “This was a good report overall.” Noting that permits for new construction remain high, Schwerdtfeger said the report “suggests that the momentum in building activity observed in recent months should carry forward.”
While the report was positive, it was still anemic by historical standards. Nevertheless, the continued growth is positive for the economy; each new home built generates three jobs for a full year, and $90,000 in tax revenue.
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