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Signs point toward a healthy housing market [Video]

Posted on Sunday, July 19, 2015 at 7:11:54 PM

Housing starts and building permits reached eight-year highs in July after year-over-year surges, in a very positive sign for the housing market. 

The Census Bureau released data last week indicating that housing starts jumped 9.8 percent from May to June, good for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million. Building permits, meanwhile, rose to an annualized pace of 1.34 million, a 7.4 percent increase for the indicator of future construction activities.

Even more substantial were the year-over-year swells each figure experienced. Housing starts increased 26.6 percent over June of last year. Building permits jumped 30 percent from the same month in 2014. 

The latest iteration of a measure of builder confidence also indicated a bright future for the housing market. National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index hit 60 in July, the highest it has been since 2005. Any time the index hits 50 or above, it is a sign builders believe conditions are good. 

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics, told Business Insider that though the index isn't a "solid indicator of ongoing construction" it "does add weight to the increasing pile of evidence suggesting that a real housing upswing is underway."

It seems NAHB Chairman Tom Woods would agree. He explained in a press release that the HMI hitting its highest level since 2005 is a sign that the housing market should continue its recovery through the second half of 2015.