March Housing Starts Up Slightly; Permits Below Estimates

Posted by Patrick Barnard on April 16, 2014 No Comments
Categories : Residential Mortgage

Housing starts reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000 in March – about 2.8% above the revised February estimate of 920,000 – but were 5.9% below the March 2013 estimate of 1,005,000, according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Single-family housing starts reached an annualized rate of 635,000 – about 6% above the revised February figure of 599,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 292,000.

Approved permits for new residential construction reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 990,000 – 2.4% below the revised February rate of 1,014,000, but 11.2% above the March 2013 estimate of 890,000.

Of these, permits for single-family homes were at a rate of 592,000 – about 0.5% above the revised February figure of 589,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 370,000 in March.

Housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 – about 0.2% below the revised February estimate of 874,000, but 7.7% above the March 2013 rate of 810,000.

Single-family housing completions in March were at a rate of 602,000 – about 3.8% below the revised February rate of 626,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 258,000.

Meanwhile, builder confidence in the new residential construction market remains somewhat depressed according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, released earlier this week. Builder confidence rose only one percentage point to reach 47 on the index, up slightly from a downwardly revised March reading of 46.

NAHB officials say a lack of available building lots, a shortage of skilled labor and tighter credit continue to slow the pace of new residential construction nationwide.

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