U.S. Housing Starts Rise to 549,000 Rate in March


By Jeffry Bartash

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The start of construction on new U.S. homes rose 7.2% in March to an annual rate of 549,000, while permits rose 11.2%, the government reported Tuesday. Housing starts in February were revised up to 512,000 from an original reading of 479,000, according to Commerce Department data. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected housing starts in March to climb to an annual rate of 520,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Permits for new construction, viewed as a gauge of future demand, increased to an annual rate of 594,000 from February’s upwardly revised level of 534,000. Permits for single-family homes, which account for three-quarters of the housing market, rose 5.7% to an annual rate of 405,000 last month.

TMN Note – I don’t believe the Vail Valley has participated in this increase in housing starts but it is good news for the economy in general.  As we continue to get good economic news, our reluctant buyers may start to commit to purchases in the Valley. 

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  1. #1 by eaglecountytimes on April 21, 2011 - 9:57 am

    Terry,
    EagleCountyTimes.Com not in complete agreement about the state of our (local/national) economy.
    ECT of the view – on a good day, we (economy) hasn’t gone backwards…ECT doesn’t believe we’re in any kind of any economic recovery.
    No doubt you’ve read today’s (21APR2011) Special Edition of the ECT – posting the public record document on Brightwater’s Chapter 11 filing.
    A bunch of clicks on that link – this AM. ECT has a call into our contact at American Gypsum (wallboard) in Gypsum. Obvious question…has AG seen any increase in orders for their wallboard product? You need Wallboard/SheetRock/Drywall to build new homes, right?

    • #2 by Terry Nolan on April 21, 2011 - 10:10 am

      I agree that the signals are mixed for the national economy. While the stock market (Dow Jones) has doubled over the past 2 years other sectors have lagged, particularly housing. I continue to believe unemployment is a serious problem and until we see more improvement in that area, we will still not enjoy a sustained recovery.
      Good idea about calling American Gypsum. Pesonally I’m seeing more interested buyers and have been showing property again. My listings are getting showings where 6 months ago they weren’t. However, buyers are still reluctant to commit. I think much of that is due to the uncertainty in the national economy and just what the politicians will do about the deficit. I don’t think we will see any action on serious deficit reduction prior to the 2010 elections. Just my 2 cents.
      Regarding Brightwater, I put that in front of some investors over 2 years ago and they weren’t interested because it is a long-term play. They thought someone could probably buy the debt for $15-$18 million but wouldn’t see a return for 15-20 years.

  2. #3 by eaglecountytimes on April 21, 2011 - 10:18 am

    Am in 100% agreement. Job market must improve, first. Lenders still uncertain about folks who have jobs today – might not tomorrow. Result? Housing mortgage markets still really tight…

    Meanwhile – out BoCC paying all their time/attention these days to spending the open space funds – as fast as they can. BoCC doesn’t give a -hit about local economy, home foreclosure rate, not local job creation.

    And the Daily Fishwrap and VM (for that matter) won’t ask any of the tough questions – to the BoCC…they are part of the problem with Eagle County today. We don’t have a functioning media outlet – except for the ECT…

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