Archive for construction

Quickie- Building starts increase dramatically as housing recovery continues



Imagine how good things would be if the R's worked with us instead of against us.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders started more houses and apartments in February and obtained permits for future construction at the fastest pace in 4 ½ years. The increases point to a housing recovery that is gaining strength.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders broke ground on homes last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000. That's up from 910,000 in January. And it's the second-fastest pace since June 2008, behind December's rate of 982,000.

Single-family home construction increased to an annual rate of 618,000, the most in 4 ½ years. Apartment construction also ticked up, to 285,000.

The gains are likely to grow even faster in the coming months. Building permits, a sign of future construction, increased 4.6 percent to 946,000. That was also the most since June 2008, just a few months into the Great Recession.

And the figures for January and December were also revised higher. Overall housing starts have risen 28 percent higher over the past 12 months.


Infrastructure Spending Anyone?



Andy Marquis, reporter for, is a guest blogger. He used to consider himself a Republican but not any more.  He changed his voter registration to Independent in 2011 and says that’s how it will remain.

Here’s his latest guest post:

So here I am sitting in a café in Blacksburg, Virginia because we are working our third full day without power at my home in Copper Hill.  I’ve had a lot of time to knock out some books on my extensively long reading list, but I’ve had a lot of time to think as well, and I’ve been thinking about all those who went weeks without power after Hurricane Sandy.

In all the barking going on in Washington about cutting spending and cutting taxes, I’ve not heard one person talk about the need to invest in our outdated infrastructure.  Infrastructure spending used to be bipartisan common sense, but not anymore.  President Obama and other Democrats have been stonewalled on anything and everything in terms of infrastructure by a radical TEA Party faction that is so extreme in its hatred of government that they’d rather see the country burn.

An infrastructure spending omnibus makes sense in urban and rural areas.  It puts people back to work immediately after it’s signed in to law by the President.  Infrastructure spending should’ve been discussed after the 2003 blackout, it should have been discussed after the I-35W bridge collapse and it should’ve been discussed after Hurricane Sandy.  But once that discussion takes place, people will realize that government can be an instrument of good and that’s something the TEA Party, and the mainstream Republican Party that continues to appease them, do not want to say.

If we discuss ways of making homes, current and future, more energy independent and we talk about ways people can cut back on power consumption, we can have a short term impact on the overloaded power grid and a long term impact on the goal of becoming more green, a goal this country should have.  If we start upgrading the power grid, nationally, and we start repairing and replacing outdated bridges, and paving dirt roads, and making rural areas just a little more modern, we can put able bodied people back to work and create a better country for everyone.

Or we can continue to not do a damn thing while China invests in its infrastructure and continues to attract private sector growth.  The Democrats know the government can work for everyone and make us more competitive again.  Independents know this.  Even moderate Republicans know this must be done.  And, maybe, if we do something, the next hurricane or the next ice storm will be a mere inconvenience and not a catastrophic event that disrupts the entire nation’s productivity in a growing workforce.

Until then, let’s all buckle up because going off this fiscal cliff is going to be a bumpy ride.


Video Mid Day Distraction- LEGO Pop-up




Quickie- Economy Grows at 2% Rate


Taegan gives us something to smile about.

The U.S. gross domestic product "grew at an annual rate of 2% in the third quarter as consumers spent more, federal-government spending accelerated and the housing industry improved," the Wall Street Journal reports.


Home Prices Rise In All Major U.S. Cities


Little rays of sunshine all over the place, but it's still not bright enough for the damned media to see.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home prices rose in May from April in every city tracked by a leading index, a sign that increasing sales and tight inventories are supporting a modest housing recovery.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday showed increases in all of the 20 cities tracked. And a measure of national prices rose 2.2 percent from April to May, the second increase after seven months of flat or declining readings.

Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco posted the biggest monthly increases. Detroit, San Diego and Charlotte posted the smallest gains.

Phoenix, one of the hardest-hit cities in the housing slump, posted the strongest year-over-year gain in home prices. Still, prices there remain more than 50 percent below their peak, reached in summer 2006.


US builders start more single-family homes


When the hell is this going to start being seen reflected in jobs? Hurry up already.

WASHINGTON — U.S. builders started work on more single-family homes in May and requested the most permits to build homes and apartments in three and a half years. The increase suggests the housing market is slowly recovering even as other areas of the economy have weakened.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders broke ground on 3.2 percent more single-family homes in May, the third straight monthly increase.

Overall housing starts fell 4.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000. But that was entirely because of a 21.3 percent plunge in apartment construction, which can be volatile from month to month.

The government also said April was much better for housing starts than first thought. The government revised the April starts to 744,000 - up from an initially reported 717,000 and the fastest building pace since October 2008.


US builder confidence ticks up to 5-year high


Any bit of good news and I'm on it.

WASHINGTON -- Confidence among U.S. builders ticked up this month to a five-year high, an indication that the housing market is slowly improving.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose in June to 29, the highest reading since May 2007. It increased from a reading of 28 last month, which was revised down one point.

The index has risen in seven of the past nine months. Still, any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market. The index hasn't reached that level since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.

In June, builders reported seeing the best sales level since April 2007, according to a separate measure in the survey. Their outlook for sales in the next six months, however, hasn't changed from May.