Housing starts in the U.S. have increased by 7 percent from February to March, surpassing the 1 million mark for the first time since June 2008, reports the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
- Housing starts from February to March increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.04 million, based on the Commerce Department’s report.
- Apartment construction led the way with a nearly 31 percent increase to an annual rate of 417,000.
- Single-family home building dropped 4.8 percent to an annual rate of 619,000 from February’s pace of 650,000.
- Applications for building permits dipped 3.9 percent to an annual rate of 902,000 from February’s rate of 939,000.
The April survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo indicates that builder confidence fell slightly due to increasing costs for building materials and concerns over the supply of developed lots and labor. Still, March’s starts was about 46 percent higher than the same month last year, a clear indication that the housing market will add to overall economic growth this year. While housing construction fell 5.8 percent in the Northeast, it rose 10.9 percent in the South, 9.6 percent in the Midwest, and 2.7 percent in the West.