Housing market improves, but foreclosures spoil the party

Housing market improves, but foreclosures spoil the party

It looks like the housing market isn’t going to get any worse.

Five years into the worst housing depression since the 1930s, the latest monthly data from the Census Bureau indicate that the homebuilding industry is slowly coming back to life. Housing starts jumped jumped 9.3 percent in November to an annual rate of 685,000, the highest reading in 19 months. Starts were up in the Northeast, South and West but were down in the Midwest. New housing permits, which offer a fairly reliable forecast of future building activity, jumped 5.7 percent to the highest level in 20 months.

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