August Housing Starts Beat Forecasts

Is the housing industry beginning to stabilize?  Housing starts in the U.S. increased more than forecast in August; this could be a positive signal of stabilization.

Builders broke ground on an annual rate of 598,000 homes in August.  This is up 10.5 percent over July (541,000 pace) and the most since April.  Economists were expecting August starts at a 550,000 pace, so this is a pleasant surprise this morning. 

In addition, building permits, a proxy of future activity, rose from a record low.   Building permits increased 1.8 percent to a 569,000 annual rate in August. Permits reached a record low of 559,000 in July.

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