Housing Starts Fell 6.8% In March; Single-Family Production Down 6.2%

Housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.215 million, a decrease of 6.8% compared with a revised 1.303 million in February but an increase of 9.2% compared with 1.113 million in March 2016, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Starts of single-family homes were at a rate of about 821,000, a decrease of 6.2% compared with about 875,000 in February. Starts of multifamily dwellings (five units or more per building) were at a rate of about 385,000, a decrease of 6.1% compared with 410,000 in February.

The estimates for building permits, however, indicate that housing starts should start to increase in the months to come. Building permits in March were at a rate of about 1.260 million, an increase of 3.6% compared with 1.216 million in February and an increase of 17.0% compared with 1.077 million in March 2016.

Permits for single-family homes were at a rate of about 823,000, a decrease of 1.1% compared with about 832,000 in February. Permits for multifamily homes were at a rate of about 401,000, an increase of 18.3% compared with about 339,000 in February.

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