[Housing starts and permits surged](http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.asp?feed=OBR&Date=20051019&ID=5203615) despite forecasts of falling housing starts due to the impact of Katrina and Rita (I feel I am now on a first name basis with both of them). Permits are an indicator of the confidence of builders and the annual pace is at its highest level since February 1973.

Housing starts were strongest in the south and midwest and unchanged on the east and west coasts.

One possible misleading aspect of these stats is that builders generally only know how to build and have ignored negative economic signals in the past. [Inventories are rising. [NY Sun]](http://www.nysun.com/pf.php?id=21824)

Its not always a case of:

>If you build it, they (homebuyers) will come.