New Home Construction Rises in Feb

New-home construction rose 22.2 percent in February, compared to January, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 583,000 units.

Applications for building permits, which are considered a good measure of future building, rose 3 percent in February to an annual rate of 547,000.

Both increases surprised analysts who had predicted further downturns. Housing construction is still down 47.3 percent from a year ago.

However, builders remained pessimistic about their businesses. The National Association of Home Builders’ index of builder sentiment is at 9, one point above the all-time low reached in January. Numbers lower than 50 indicate a negative outlook about the market.

Source: The Associated Press, Jeannine Aversa

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