Thursday, September 17 2009
Housing starts rose 1.5 percent in August to an annualized rate of 598,000, led by a 25 percent increase in apartment construction, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Thursday.
Single-family starts fell 3 percent to a 479,000 annual rate, the first decline since January. Single-family starts rose 24 percent in the Northeast, 0.9 percent in the Midwest, and fell 2.4 percent in the South. The West was unchanged.
Analysts blamed the expiration of the first-time home buyer tax credit for the decline. “These tax incentives often borrow from future sales and the pickup does not last,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, said before the report was announced. “This does not throw the recovery idea into a tailspin, but the housing normalization will come at a slow, measured pace.”
Source: Bloomberg, Bob Willis (09/17/2009) http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2009091701?OpenDocument