The Latest on Housing Starts



Despite the nationwide housing inventory shortage, homebuilders are not building new homes in needed quantities, according to just-released data from the National Association of Realtors.


New-home construction activity remained low in February, below one-year-ago levels. On a positive note, the number of housing permits rose, indicating that new-home construction will be rising a bit in the upcoming months.


The housing shortage in many U.S. markets is likely to persist. NAR projects homebuilders need to increase production by at least 50 percent from current levels in order to meet the demand for newly constructed homes.


The Bottom Line: There is little chance of home-price declines in markets where there is a shortage of housing. Rents will continue to rise.