New homes construction ticked up only 0.3 percent from August to September. The 610,000 new homes begun last month represent a 28 percent rise from the record low of 477,000 in April 2007, though. That's based on Census Bureau housing-starts figures dating back to 1959.
The relatively small increase is mostly in construction of multi-family dwellings; construction starts of single-family homes still are well below levels set at the beginning of 2010.
Generally a low level of housing starts is good for the long-term economy, since there is excess inventory in the current market. But in the short run, low levels hurt employment. (Click on "Full Story" for a full-size look at the chart.)
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