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Friday, April 12, 2013

Housing Starts Update

Housing starts in the first two months of the year downshifted as
higher permitting fees and unseasonably warm weather created a
rush to start new homes in December. Looking through the
seasonally noisy winter months, the trend for new home
construction remains up. Total housing starts over the past year
rose 28 percent with single-family starts up 32 percent. In addition,
the supply of new homes for sales remains historically low, which
should support new building.

The pace of housing starts should pick up in March as the spring
building season kicks into gear. Permits in February were higher
than starts, suggesting a pickup in starts in the near-term.
Furthermore, despite the dismal March employment report,
construction firms added 18,000 new workers. We expect starts to
trend higher this year, averaging a 980,000-unit pace.

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