Housing starts grow moderately in Texas
It seems Texas is running counterpoint to the national experience of having a complete meltdown in the housing sector, based on some of the findings in a Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas report released Wednesday. While Texas' existing-home sales fell 8.7% in February and single-family housing permits dropped 13.8%, housing starts in Texas actually edged up 2% in February, 5% higher when compared to last year. The supply of home inventory in Texas also fell to a level where housing supply is expected to remain on the market for 7.6 months on average, compared to 7.7 months in January. Another economic indicator -- Texas single-family housing permits -- fell 13.8% between January and February. What sets Texas apart is the fact it's unemployment rate remains at 8.2%, under the national rate of 8.9%. The Lone Star state also gained 26,900 jobs in February after adding 14,400 jobs a month earlier, the Fed Bank said. Write to Kerri Panchuk.