US housing market shows promising signs

The slow and steady recovery in the US housing market continued in September. Total US housing starts surged to a four year high of 872,000 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). Building permit data, a proxy for future housing starts, rose to 894,000 (SAAR), suggesting that strong home-building momentum will be sustained. While September starts are clearly a positive development for the US economy, it is worth remembering that new home construction in the US is still only about half of what it was before the sub-prime mortgage crisis.


Also it is worth noting that prior to the US housing crisis, BC exported an average of $7 billion a year in wood products to the United States. As of last year, that number had fallen over 60 per cent to just $2.5 billion. Over the next two years, as the US housing market starts returning to normal, the BC economy should benefit through increased export sales and employment in forestry, and manufacturing.

Ian Hodson
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