Housing is in Bloom

The nation’s housing sector is buzzing like bees in springtime. And indeed, housing has historically boosted the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and job creation, which are key stimulators and indicators of economic health.

When GDP is referenced in news media, it means the total goods and services produced by labor and property in the U.S. This figure is measured quarterly, and recent figures show that GDP increased impressively at 3.1 percent in the 1st quarter of 2013, up from 0.4 percent in the last quarter of 2012.

Sales of previously-owned houses increased three straight months in March, rising 0.4 percent to a 5 million annualized rate, its highest level since late 2009, then took a small dip in late April by 0.6 percent to 4.92 million units. During this time, new home sales maintained an upward climb by 1.5 percent within expectations to 416,000. Analysts say housing could provide tailwinds strong enough to realize the improvement to the labor market for which the folks at the Fed are hoping. The Fed (which sets the U.S. monetary policy by monitoring national employment, prices and interest rates) recently noted that inflation also remains in check.

Homebuilders across the nation have contributed to the increase in Housing Starts, up a whopping 47 percent over the same period last year. At their highest since June 2008, Housing Starts spiked by 7 percent this March to 1.036 million units on an annualized basis, well above the 930,000 expected, though they did decline in April. Gains in home prices and construction will put more Americans to work this year, and that’s good news overall for the health of the U.S. economy.

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