Housing starts increased 6.6% to 1.172 million unitsannualized in April beating expectations, erasing most of the previous month’sdecline. Permits slipped 3.6% to 1.116million units annualized. On a year agobasis both figures are negative, starts -1.7% and permits -7.2%. While no one can argue that real estateprices haven’t recovered, save for a few regions, construction activity andsales volume both remain shadows of their former selves.
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