In this morning’s data, Housing Starts were 1,793,000 in March, a bit more than expected and a 0.3% increase from the previous month. In addition, Building Permits were 1,873,000 in March, also a bit more than expected and an increase of 0.4% for the month. Overall, only slight increases in both housing starts and building permits from the previous month as rising interest rates have pushed the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate above 5.25%. Even with the rise in mortgage rates, the housing shortfall still argues for builders to build and complete homes. With affordability an issue in many parts of the country, the Federal Reserve will need to closely monitor this dynamic in the coming months as they work through their policy tightening given housing activities support and filter through to many other parts of the economy. In all, the 10-year US Treasury yield ticks slightly higher and equity futures are also slightly higher as we head into the market open.
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