Hidden in the slew of news today, GE earnings, Bank of America, housings starts, was a hidden gem, one that portends well for the economy and ravaged housing industry: March's unadjusted home building permits (www.census.gov/const/bpua.pdf).
Certainly housing starts were good with seasonally adjusted starts at 626,000, better than expected 610,000.
But it is the unadjusted monthly permits that wow us. March permits are up 42.5% for all housing permits over 2009. March is up 42.2% over February's. The breakdown of permits for 1 unit dwellings looks great, whether it's in the Northeast 15%, South 48%, or West 37%. However, it's the Midwest building permits for single family homes that drop the drawers: they have almost doubled from February. The data on housing permits indicates a strong housing market is on its way, something that will play well for DHI, TOL, BZH, HOV, NVR, KBH among others.
Disclosure: Long the home builders