Monthly Census Numbers Not Sufficient to Understand New-Home Market

Census data's paltry monthly figures didn't match up with robust housing industry reports

April 17, 2015

To better understand the new-home market, don’t just look at the often volatile census numbers, real estate reporter Kris Hudson writes in the Wall Street Journal Real Time Economics blog.

By factoring out the skewing influence of multifamily projects and taking more than one month into account, industry professionals and observers can get a more accurate view of the new-home market.

This explains the inconsistency between the Commerce Department’s monthly figures, which indicated that home-construction starts only had a paltry increase of 2 percent, with recent reports that new and existing home sales in February and March were robust, Hudson writes.

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