Mixed Signals in Housing Data
By Hunter Palmer
We got a mixed bag of economic data on the housing front this week that, on one hand disappointed, but upon closer analysis showed yet another sign that the battered housing market is recovering. On Tuesday the Commerce Department said that initial construction of new homes fell in July after surging in June. Housing starts fell 11% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 581,000 down form 587,000 in June. Commerce also reported that applications for new building permits also fell in July by a more modest 1.8% though both reports came in below economist’s forecasts. One caveat, however, was that when broken out by construction type, housing starts for single-family homes actually posted a 1.7% gain in July and applications for single-family permits rose by 5.8%. This is the silver lining in th...