The Commerce Department released data that showed an unexpected drop in housing starts. Builders are current worried about inventory. Several real estate research firms recently said that the market is about to be hit by a flood of foreclosures which were slowed by court procedures and a government settlement with banks.
Permits did rise, a signal that somewhere in the distance, builder see a chance that inventory could drop and prices rise.
Builders began construction on new U.S. homes at a slower pace in March, but permits jumped to the highest level since September 2008, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Housing starts fell 5.8% last month to an annual rate of 654,000 from a slightly revised 694,000 in February. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected housing starts in March to rise to an annual rate of 703,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis
Both figures are pathetic when measured against the housing boom years. And, an indication that another boom, or even a strong recovery, is far away