The Surprise Recovery in April Housing Construction

Paul Ausick

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Wednesday morning that new housing starts in April rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.07 million, an increase of 13.2% from the upwardly revised March rate of 947,000 and a jump of 26.4% compared with the April 2013 rate of 848,000. The consensus estimate from a survey of economists expected a rate of around 947,000.

The seasonally adjusted rate of new building permits rose to 1.08 million, which is 8% above the downwardly revised March rate of 1 million but 3.8% higher than the April 2013 rate of 1.04 million. The consensus estimate called for 1.02 million new permits.

Single-family housing starts rose to an annualized rate of 649,000 in April, up 0.7% from the revised March rate of 644,000.

Permits for new single-family homes rose 0.3% in April to an adjusted annual rate of 602,000 from an upwardly revised total of 600,000 in March.

Multifamily starts for buildings with five or more units, a more volatile number than single-family starts, rose 42.9% in April.

The rate of increase in new permits is the highest since June of 2008.

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