The Search for Shelter

Prospects of rising interest rates create confusion in the housing market

Is American home buying about to rise through the roof, or will it collapse and crash through the floor? That question is vexing builders, bankers and home buyers this spring as the prime house-hunting season gets under way. Indeed, the U.S. housing market suddenly seems to be a mass of confusing and conflicting signs.

Last week the Government revealed that March housing starts had taken the sharpest drop (26.6%) since records began to be kept in 1959. That disclosure, which put new construction for...

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