The mainstream media dutifully reported a 2.8% gain in the headline seasonally adjusted number for housing starts. It was just another example of how misleading seasonally adjusted data can be. On a year to year basis, actual total starts are down from 83,300 in March 2013, to 79,100 last month. That’s a drop of 5%. Much of the decline was in the booming multifamily starts which fell by 5,200 units or 18% year over year. Single family did better, increasing by 1,500 units or just under 3%. But it remains at depression like levels.
This chart tells the story at a glance.
While the Fed has done a great job in stimulating a raging housing price bubble, sales and starts are still bumping along the bottom. This is normal. A return to bubble levels is not in the cards. The Fed engineered housing inflation has ensured that.