Not a Great Start to the Spring Housing Season

Housing is a particularly seasonal industry, and the spring selling season, which starts to ramp in March is typically the busiest time of year.  Because of the seasonality, housing data that’s reported in these months is especially important.

The Census Bureau released construction data for March today which wasn’t too encouraging.  It showed that construction of new housing units fell by 5% from the previous year.

On top of the housing starts data, it’s more significant that the Mortgage Banking Association’s indexes are showing that mortgage volume is down double digits.  The purchase index is down 12.9% from last year and refinances are down 68% because interest rates have risen.

Earlier this year, when winter was driving economic sluggishness we were holding out hope that spring, and especially housing’s spring selling season would be strong.  So far at least, it looks like this important segment of the economy is still doing just so-so.  The question is: is that good enough for stock prices?

Housing Starts Not Seasonally Adjusted

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