The Surprise Recovery in April Housing Construction
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.