- by New Deal democratDon’t get too excited about this morning’s big jump in housing starts for March. In the first place, it wasn’t confirmed in either total or single family permits, which both remain down from December and January, and the latter of which is the least of all housing numbers:Also, the big jump in starts is mainly a rebound from February’s Big Texas Freeze. February and March starts together average 1599 annualized, which is significantly below the December and January pace.And no, I’m not cherry picking. I checked, and here is how I led my report on housing permits and starts one month ago:The headline numbers for both permits and starts for February, released this morning, were both poor, off -10.8% and -10.3%, respectively. The temptation is to say, “higher interest
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- by New Deal democrat
The headline numbers for both permits and starts for February, released this morning, were both poor, off -10.8% and -10.3%, respectively. The temptation is to say, “higher interest rates, We’re DOOOMED!!!” Not so fast. In context, the declines were well within normal month to month variation, and at least some of the declines looks like more fallout from the Big Texas Freeze that we saw yesterday in industrial production and retail sales.Higher mortgage interest rates and surging prices are having an effect. To the extent there is a surprise, it’s that there hasn’t been a bigger effect so far.