Housing starts rise in April
Single-family starts rise in April while permits slide.
Housing starts in April increased 5.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.235 million from the March revised rate of 1.168 million.
But the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is 2.5% below the April 2018 rate of 1.267 million.
Single-family starts in April grew 6.2% to 854,000 compared to the revised March figure of 804,000.
Building permits rose just 0.6% to 1.296 million in April in comparison to the revised March rate of 1.288 million. The latest number is 5% below the April 2018 rate of 1.364 million.
Single-family permits in April were at a rate of 782,000, down 4.2% below the revised March figure of 816,000.
Housing completions in April fell 1.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.312 million from the revised March estimate of 1.331 million.
“Builders remain cautious due to affordability concerns,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn. “But as our builder confidence survey shows, their expectations indicate consumers will respond to lower interest rates moving forward and the housing market will continue on a slow, steady climb.”
By region, starts soared 84.6% in the Northeast as single-family starts ascended 29.6%. In the South, overall starts fell 5.7% as single-family starts dropped 5.6%.
Housing starts in the Midwest increased 42% while single-family starts grew nearly 40%. Total starts declined 5.5% in the West but single-family starts increased 13.7% in the region.
“Though an overall encouraging report for the month of April, the soft permit numbers for single-family housing indicate concerns about housing affordability and construction costs,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Builders continue to focus on managing home construction costs as they try to meet growing housing demand. NAHB analysis of first quarter permit data show growth in more affordable exurban locations.”
The full April 2019 Residential Construction Report can be read here.
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