Posted by Leonard Steinberg on November 26th, 2013

Housing continues to improve, and for anyone who believes housing is not the key to the welfare of the US economy, think again: Permits for future U.S. home construction hit a near 5-1/2 year-high in October and prices for single-family homes notched big gains in September, suggesting a run-up in mortgage interest rates has not derailed the housing recovery.

The data releases today were the latest signs of the economy improving, despite headwinds from rising mortgage rates and last month’s partial government shutdown.  Improving real estate values will elevate the net worth of many home owners and encourage them to spend and consume more freely: this ultimately leads to more employment, less reliance on welfare, increased revenues and an overall imprving economy. While building permits are not counted in GDP, they are a key indicator of economic activity and the sturdy gains in both September and October should ease concerns the housing market recovery was stalling. A Reuters survey forecast home prices rising 6.5 percent in 2014, roughly half the pace expected in 2013, yest still a very strong figure.

Anyone who believes Mayor de Blasio is not keenly aware about the importance of housing is deluded. Blaming the rich and their luxury homes for everything is great for winning elections, but not for paying the bills.