Commerce reports today that housing starts are up for last month to an annual adjusted rate of 717,000. That’s certainly better than the 500K+ housing starts recorded during the worst of the recession and the 600K which was being called the “new normal” last year.
But one month does not make a trend (the weather was good, which helped). And 700K is half of what a health housing economy should show. During the boom years housing starts reached as many as 2-million annually by some estimates.
One aside to note: for those of you who think government is the problem, states like Texas which have strict laws governing the mortgage industry, faired much better in the housing bust than states with few regulations.