Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 10:22 AM
Census released it’s housing starts this morning (although I am not sure how since the pdf that provides the info hasn’t been updated at the time of this post).
Home starts are seeking a bottom after falling off sharply since the expiration in the spring of a tax break for new- and existing-home buyers. The data suggest that the bottom may have been reached at 539,000 in June. Housing starts totaled 679,000 in April prior to the expiration of the government subsidy.
When you look at the chart in relation to data going back to 1959, a 10.5% increase this is clearly misleading. The starts, as suggested in the Marketwatch summary, seems to be trying to find a bottom, bouncing along since early 2009.
January 2006 was the recent peak and current activity is 26.3% as much as peak – or peak was 3.8 times more than current levels.