The health of the economy shows in the housing market. Home builders thrive in a healthy economy, and struggle during an economic downturn. Keep track of new housing starts with the New Residential Construction Report from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The graph below shows an overview of the housing market and how it correlates with the U.S. economy. Recessions are shown in the shaded gray area. Notice that the new home starts in 2009 through 2011 are the lowest in 50 years! (This chart is updated monthly.)
Unfortunately, this situation is not likely to be rectified until the number of foreclosures is reduced.
Housing Starts (New Privately Owned Housing Units Started)
Data Source: Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED), Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
New Residential Sales [Series: HOUST] ; U.S. Department of Commerce
The New Residential Construction Report from the U.S. Department of Commerce, includes Building Permits, Housing Starts, and Housing Completions.
Summaries of recent reports are provided here:
New Residential Construction
Washington, DC (December 7, 2009) - Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank (pictured on the right) addressed the United Nations working group that is preparing guidelines on integration of national economic accounts. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) Director Steve Landefeld (pictured left) hosted the group from December 7-9.