Housing Starts and Permits

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Definition of 'Housing Starts and Permits'

Housing starts and permits are two important indicators of the health of the housing market in the United States.

Housing starts refer to the number of new residential construction projects that have begun in a given period, typically measured on a monthly or quarterly basis. This includes the construction of single-family homes, townhouses, and multi-unit apartment buildings. Housing starts are an indicator of the level of construction activity in the housing market, which can impact economic growth, employment, and consumer spending.

Building permits, on the other hand, refer to the number of new construction permits that have been issued by local government authorities. These permits grant permission for construction to begin and typically include information about the type of building, its location, and the type of construction that will be involved. Building permits are seen as a leading indicator of future housing starts, as they indicate the level of planned construction activity in the housing market.

Both housing starts and permits are closely watched by economists, analysts, and policymakers as an indicator of the overall health of the housing market and broader economic conditions. A higher number of housing starts and permits can indicate a strong and growing housing market, while a lower number can indicate a weak and slowing market.

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