Steadying homebuilder confidence translated into less bad news for the housing market Thursday, as the ""Commerce Department"":http://www.commerce.gov/ ""reported"":http://www.census.gov/const/newresconst.pdf that housing starts more or less hovered around expectations.[IMAGE]
October figures for single-family housing starts trumped estimates from September, with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 628,000 beating expectations for 630,000. On a year-over-year basis, the boost in numbers reflects a 16.5-percent upward revision from a 539,000 housing units.
Original estimates from news networks like ""_Bloomberg News_"":http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-11-17/housing-starts-in-u-s-fell-0-3-to-628-000-rate-in-october.html forecasted that housing starts would deflate substantially over October, squeezing by tens of thousands to reach 610,000.
Building permits ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a typical measure for future construction efforts and housing starts ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô meanwhile rose above September estimates to crest at 589,000 on a[COLUMN_BREAK]
seasonally adjusted basis.
Housing completions hovered around a seasonally adjusted 584,000, some 5.7 percent below revised September estimates.
""There has been quite a fairly steady upshot in housing starts over the last six months or so,"" ""Paul Dales"":http://www.capitaleconomics.com/staff/global-economics/paul-dales.html, senior U.S. economist with consultancy ""Capital Economics"":http://www.capitaleconomics.com/, tells _MReport_. ""It may be the case that homebuilders are becoming more confident in the housing market... The trend is overall quite encouraging.""
_Bloomberg_ reported ""TD Securities Inc."":http://www.tdsecurities.com/tds/content/HomePageTemplate?command=doHome as forecasting 625,000 in October housing starts, with the news service quoting chief market economist Eric Green as saying, ""We're still at the bottom but greatly beginning to move up in the right direction.""
All-time highs for housing affordability keep the market extremely attractive to homebuyers, with rates for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remaining at 4 percent this week, according to ""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com/.
Positive developments for housing starts follow a survey by the ""National Association of Home Builders"":http://www.nahb.org/ (NAHB) in association with ""Wells Fargo"":https://www.wellsfargo.com/ that portrays homebuilder confidence on a three-point rise over October.
""While we still have a long way to go toward a recovery, some signs of hope are emerging in certain markets where economic and job growth is occurring and where foreclosures have not been an overwhelming obstacle,"" NAHB Bob Nielsen said of the confidence index in a ""statement"":http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?newsID=14030.