In the fourth quarter of 2015, there were 119,000 single family starts built for sale, and 111,000 new homes sold, which means inventory increased slightly, according to a Census Bureau report and reported by Bill McBride of Calculated Risk.

Homes built for sales are different than starts of single family structures because the Census Bureau includes owner-built units and units built for rent in the latter report.

In 2008 and 2009, the home builders started far fewer homes than they sold as they worked off the excess inventory that they had built up in 2005 and 2006.

Now it looks like builders are generally starting a few more homes than they are selling, and the inventory of under construction and completed new home sales is increasing, but still low.

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