January Housing Construction Rises More Than Expected

Posted on February 17th, 2010 in Financing, Market Conditions.

Signs of a Recovery? We’re definitely seeing more activity in showings for our listings and buyers seeking our assistance in finding them a property. Possibly the most hopeful news is that numbers rose in the three major categories of manufacturing, mining and energy signifying a possible recovery for the economy which will be the best boost for real estate values. ~Phil

From The Huffington Post


WASHINGTON (MARTIN CRUTSINGER– AP) — Housing construction posted a better-than-expected increase in January which pushed activity to the highest level in six months. The solid gain raised hopes that the construction industry is beginning to mount a sustained rebound from its worst slump in decades.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that construction of new homes and apartments rose 2.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 591,000 units. That was better than the 580,000 annual pace that economists were forecasting.

Applications for building permits, considered a good barometer of future activity, fell 4.9 percent to a rate of 621,000, but that was after two months of large increases.

In another sign of strength, Wednesday’s report revised up activity in December to show builders were starting construction at an annual pace of 575,000 units during that month, much stronger than the 557,000 originally reported. Even with the upward revision, activity fell a slight 0.7 percent in December, a dip that was blamed on severe weather in many parts of the country that depressed construction activity.

Economists are hoping that housing is beginning to recover and a rebound in this area will help support the economy as it struggles to mount a sustained recovery from the deepest recession since the 1930s.

In a separate report suggesting strength, the Federal Reserve said industrial production rose 0.9 percent in January, the seventh consecutive monthly increase.

January’s numbers rose in all three major categories: manufacturing, mining and energy utilities. That is the first such show of strength since August 2009.