“It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.”–“Alice in Wonderland,”

What didn’t make sense last week was the way the media reported the latest housing data. Housing Starts were UP a strong 15% in September, hitting a 658,000 annual rate. But the media chose to emphasize that the gain was mostly from multi-family starts which shows a big trend toward renting. Actually, multi-family units also include condominiums, which do make sense for first time buyers who don’t have to deal with selling. The media also skimmed over the data that single-family starts were UP almost 2% for the month and starts overall are UP over 10% versus a year ago.

Then, Existing Home Sales came in 3% lower for September. The media reports by and large neglected to mention that this slight monthly drop followed a big increase achieved in August. In addition, Existing Home Sales are UP 11.3% year-over-year in September, the third straight month this figure has risen by double digits! Inventory is also down 13% in the last year and sales seem to be stabilizing around a 4.6 to 5.0 million annual rate. Not bad at all.

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