Housing Starts Rise 2.8 Percent in March

April 17th, 2014 by Editor

Led by a 6-percent rise in single-family starts, nationwide housing production rose 2.8 percent above an upwardly revised February rate of 920,000 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000 units in March, according to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“[This] report is in line with our forecast of a gradual strengthening in the housing sector in 2014,” says National Association of Home Builders chief economist David Crowe. “However, several uncertainties including tight credit conditions for homebuyers and erratic job growth are making builders cautious about getting ahead of demand.”

Single-family housing starts rose 6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 635,000 units in March, while multifamily starts fell 6.1 percent to 292,000 units.

Regionally in March, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose strongly in the Northeast and Midwest with gains of 30.7 percent and 65.5 percent, respectively, but fell 9.1 percent and 4.5 percent in the South and West, respectively.

Overall permit issuance fell 2.4 percent to 990,000 units in March. The Northeast and Midwest posted gains of 33.3 percent and 26 percent, respectively, while the West was unchanged and the South posted a 17.1 percent decline.

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