The Wall Street Journal sub-headline says, "Housing Starts Climb, Suggesting Sector Is Recovering." Much as I respect the journal, their headlines are unreliable. Let’s look at the data:
Yes, December starts were higher than October and November’s level, but the data are normally ragged. A recovery back to last year’s levels? Very unlikely.
Business Strategy Implications: Those of you in the housing food chain, continue to be very, very cautious.
Other Blogs Posting on This Topic: Interest Rate Roundup notes that single family starts were weak; the action was in multi-family, which are cheaper. Calculated Risk looks for an upcoming drop off of housing completions, leading to 400K – 600K job loss in residential construction.