Fed Vows to Keep Rates Low; February Housing Starts Reflect February Snow Storms
February Housing Starts Fall 5.9% as Federal Reserve Keeps Rates Low
March 16, 2010 - February's housing starts fell 5.9%, reaching a seasonally adjusted rate of 575,000. Released by the Commerce Department just this morning, starts were up in both the Midwest and West, but due to several tumultuous snow storms that hit the East coast last month, both the Northeast and the South were significantly down.
Since February of 2009, housing starts are up 2.9%. Building permits, which are not as influenced by the weather, dropped 1.6% in February. Single family homes fell to 503,000, a 0.2% decline from January.
February's housing starts data was followed by an afternoon recap of the FOMC meeting from earlier in the day. The Fed stated that while they have seen some progress in the economy, they still have no intention of raising rates for a while. With rates continuing to stay low for an "extended period", home buyers will still get a chance to lock in low rates for a couple of months longer.
Although the Fed initially stated that they were going to be getting rid of mortgage backed securities this month, they reassured some by saying that they'll be open to furthering purchases only when necessary.