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Building permits are up 9.1% and Housing Starts are up 1.4% from last month, while the NAHB’s own Housing Market Index dropped one point.  The HMI is a reflection of new home sales, new homes under contract, and foot traffic through model homes.  HMI is an abstract collection of sentiment from builders across the country, and carries rippling effects through all aspects of the economy from new appliances purchased (durable goods orders) to real time and future potential labor demands not only in the new communities, but in the surrounding regions.  

Interest rates today take a hiatus from their race to achieving two-year highs.  Still unsure whether they’re just taking a breather from the exhaustive 0.75% climb since New Year’s, or whether they’ve still got another 0.5% to go before hitting the pause button.  The mere mention of four Fed rate hikes this year has already cost the average home buyer $166 per month on a $400,000 loan payment, without the Fed actually raising interest rates.