At the Reuters Tech Summit, Trulia chief executive Pete Flint says private equity investors are starting to pull back from buying U.S. real estate, while overseas buyers are coming on strong once again. Video
Instant View: U.S. housing starts fall in May, permits up sharply
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. housing starts fell in May although permits to build new homes rose to the highest in well over three years, sending mixed signals about the health of the housing market.
MICHELLE MEYER, SENIOR ECONOMIST, BANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH, NEW YORK
"Most of the swings came from multi-family starts. Single-family construction is showing some improvement since the beginning of the year. The continued flow of distressed inventory will limit the improvement in housing starts, but it doesn't stop the improvement in parts of the country where there is not a lot of distressed properties."
"For home prices, we are seeing a bottom but it will be a bumpy bottom. We are not going to see a broad rise in prices until we have a sounder footing on the economy and a reduction in distressed inventory."
GARY SHILLING, PRESIDENT, A. GARY SHILLING & CO. INVESTMENT RESEARCH FIRM IN SPRINGFIELD, NEW JERSEY
"They're bouncing along a bottom level. This is still a very distressed industry. This isn't a surprise, since we calculate that there is excess of 2 million housing units in inventory, which is very depressing to the market. With that kind of inventory, the urge to build new houses is very limited."
OMER ESINER, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, COMMONWEALTH FOREIGN EXCHANGE, WASHINGTON DC
"A disappointing headline number on the housing starts that looks to be partially offset by a much higher than expected permits number for April. So on balance, the numbers are a push, one cancels out the other. In the broader scheme of things, this housing data will get lost ahead of the Fed meeting today and tomorrow. It's not likely to have much impact on trading."
STOCKS: U.S. stock index futures held their earlier gains.
BONDS: U.S. Treasury debt prices maintained slight losses.
FOREX: The dollar trimmed its earlier losses versus the euro.
(Americas Economics and Markets Desk; +1-646 223-6300)
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