U.S. housing construction surges, but permits tumble

    According to REUTERS, U.S housing starts rose more than expected in January to their highest rate in four months, but permits for future home construction dropped sharply despite large gains in prior months.  This data was sourced from a government report on Wednesday released 2/16/11.  The report also showed the housing market still bouncing along the bottom.

    Housing starts are defined as the number or privately owned new homes on which construction has started in a given period.

    Housing starts jumped 14.6% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 596,000 units, the highest since September, according to the Commerce Department.  This number came in higher than the forecasts of many economists.  Residential construction was down 2.6% compared to January 2010.

    New building permits dropped 10.4% to a 562,000-unit pace last month.  Specifically, single-family unit (or one dwelling) permits fell 4.8%.  The multi-family segment fell by 23.8%.  Additionally, new home completions fell 9.5% in January.  The housing market recovery continues to be hobbled by an over-supply of homes that is depressing prices.  The high unemployment rate is another hindering force on recovery.

    Now more than ever, pricing and a strong product in great condition are the two most key factors in getting a home sold.  AND homes are selling, especially in the greater Philadelphia area.

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