Housing starts down in February but permits for new housing way up

The on again off again economy is at it once more. Housing starts in February went down but permits for new housing jumped to their highest level since 2008. Reuters: The Commerce Department said housing starts slipped 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 698,000 units. January's starts were revised up to a 706,000-unit pace from a previously reported 699,000 unit rate. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts little changed at a 700,000-unit rate. Compared to February last year, residential construction was up 34.7 percent, the biggest year-on-year rise since April 2010. New building permits surged 5.1 percent to a 717,000-unit pace last month, far exceeding economists' expectations for an advance to a 690,000-unit pace from January's 682,000-unit rate. Green shoots are starting to emerge in the housing market, but an oversupply of unsold homes, which is depressing prices, remains a major hurdle, even as sales have picked up in recent...(Read Full Post)