Housing starts increase 7 percent in March to highest rate in almost five years
Preliminary data from the U.S. Commerce Department showed a 7-percent increase in housing starts in March, the highest level since June 2008, our sister site, Equipment World, reported.
In addition to its 7-percent increase over the revised February estimate of 968,000, March’s seasonally adjusted rate of 1.04 million is 46.7 percent higher than the March 2012 rate if 706,000.
Multi-family homes carried housing starts last month, rising 27 percent in March to a rate of 392,000, while single-family homes in March were 4.8 percent below the revised February estimate of 619,000.
Housing completions rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 800,000, 11 percent above the revised February estimate of 721,000 and 36.3 percent higher than the March 2012 rate of 587,000.
Single-family home completions increased by 2.6 percent to a rate of 593,000, and multi-family homes were at a rate of 202,000.
Building permits decreased 3.9 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 902,000, though that rate is still 17.3 percent higher than the March 2012 estimate of 769,000.
Permits issued to single-family homes were down 0.3 percent in March at a rate of 595,000, and multi-family home permits were at a rate of 283,000.