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Housing Starts Up More Than Expected

Construction dropped in the first quarter

February blew past economists' housing start forecasts—to the tune of 30,000 (annualized rate)—to make one of the strongest construction periods in more than eight years.

Housing starts jumped up 5.2% last month, reaching a 1.18 million annualized rate from 1.12 million in January, a Commerce Department report shows—while the median economist prediction put the rate at 1.15 million. Yet permits for future construction fell 3.1% in February, suggesting additional gains may be more limited, Bloomberg reports.


Steady employment and limited layoffs have given consumers confidence, luring more first-time homebuyers towards ownership. And it’s good news for the economy—this strong burst of building shows solid real estate demand. [Bloomberg]