November 20, 1997 in Nation/World

Housing Starts Rise 1.4 Percent

From Staff And Wire Reports
 

Builders boosted construction of new homes and apartments in October to the highest level in eight months, figures likely to feed continued growth in an already robust economy.

Housing starts rose 1.4 percent to 1.53 million at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, the most since a 1.55 million rate last February, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

Many analysts had expected a slight decline in housing starts after September’s 8 percent surge.

“Low mortgage rates and a lean supply of homes have provided a very favorable backdrop for housing construction,” economist David Lereah of the Mortgage Bankers Association said in explaining the advance.

“According to our mortgage applications, it is going to continue in November and December,” he added. “We may see a slowing beginning in December, but just slightly, although beginning in 1998, we’ll see a real slowing. We can’t continue this pace forever.”

Indeed, the pace began to turn around in October in the Northeast, where starts fell 15.4 percent to a 115,000 annual rate to erase an 11.5 percent September advance. Other regions posted modest increases.

Get stories like this in a free daily email


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus