New home construction is down, but the number of new permits could be a good sign.
Housing activity, as measured by the number of new homes started, fell by 5 percent in the month August, and 5.8 percent year-over-year, according to data released by the Commerce Department today.
Housing starts were 571,000 down from the 601,000 homes started in July and the 606,000 begun in August 2010.
The number of new permits issued rose by 3.2 percent from July to August and is 7.8 percent above August 2010. An increase in new permits, a forward-looking indicator, could be a positive sign for the struggling market.
The number of homes completed in August fell 2.7 percent to 623,000, down from 640,000 in July but up 2.6 percent from the August 2010 rate.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.