Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Housing starts

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A worker builds a new home on March 5, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona. 
"Builders began work on more houses in February and permits for future construction climbed to the highest level in almost five years, pointing to a sustained rebound that will help power the U.S. expansion.

Housing starts climbed by 0.8 percent last month to a 917,000 annualized pace, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington. Permits (NHSPATOT) rose 4.6 percent to a 946,000 rate, the most since June 2008.

Advances in residential construction will probably give an even bigger boost to growth this year than in 2012, when it contributed for the first time in seven years. The gains are rippling through the economy as improving property values help restore consumer confidence and benefit builders such as Ryland Group Inc. (RYL) and home-improvement retailers, offsetting some of the damage from government cutbacks"