Tuesday, March 17 2009
There is good news in the nation’s new home construction figures. After several months of declining numbers, February’s figures rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 583,000 up 22% from last month. The low interest rates and depletion of inventory are factors contributing to this rate.
Housing starts unexpectedly surge
Initial construction of U.S. homes unexpectedly surged in February, according to a government report released Tuesday. Housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 583,000 last month, up 22% from a revised 477,000 in January, according to the Commerce Department. Economists were expecting housing starts to decline to 450,000, according to consensus estimates compiled by Briefing.com.
Applications for building permits, considered a reliable sign of future construction activity, rose 3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 547,000 last month. Economists were expecting permits to fall to 500,000.