Housing Starts Increase in March

Housing starts for new residential homes increased in March spurred by a jump in multi-family consruction according to the latest data released by the Census Bureau.

New construction for multi-family dwellings saw a jump of nearly 27 percent from February to March while new construction for single-family homes fell by nearly five percent.

Housing Starts:

Privately owned housing starts increased by 7.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,036,000 in March from a revised estimate of 968,000 in February. Housing starts were 46.7 percent higher than in March 2012 which had an estimated 706,000 annual starts.

Single-family housing starts were lower in March, with starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 619,000, down 4.8 percent from a revised estimate of 650,000 starts in February but were still 28.7 percent higher than in March of last year when an estimated 481,000 starts were reported.

Housing starts for multi-family dwellings jumped by 26.9 percent from a revised rate of 309,000 starts in February to a seasonally adjusted rate of 392,000 starts in March. Housing starts for multi-family dwellings were 82.3 percent higher than a year ago when an estimated 215,000 starts were recorded.

On an unadjusted basis, housing starts increased by 22.7 percent climbing from 66,300 starts in February to 85,800 starts in March.

Regionally, monthly housing starts increased in three of the four regions with the South posting the largest gain of 10.9 percent followed by the Midwest with a 9.6 percent increase while the West saw a monthly gain of 2.7 percent. The Northeast posted the only monthly decline of 5.8 percent.

Compared to a year ago, all four of the regions posted increases in housing starts with the South posting the largest increase of 58.2 percent, followed by the West with a 53.7 percent gain while the Midwest and the Northeast posted gains of 28.4 and 12.6 percent, respectively.

Building Permits:

The number of building permits issued in March fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 902,000, down 3.8 percent from a revised estimate of 939,000 permits in February. Authorized building permits were still 17.3 percent higher than the March 2012 estimate of 769,000.

Single-family building permit authorizations were 0.5 percent lower in March than February with 595,000 permits authorized in March compared to a revised 598,000 in February. Building permit authorizations for single-family homes were 27.7 percent higher than in March of last year which had an estimated 466,000 permits issued.

Multi-family dwelling permits also declined in March, falling to 283,000 authorizations from a revised total of 308,000 in February, a decrease of 8.1 percent. Authorizations for multi-family dwellings were 0.7 percent higher than in March of last year which had an estimated 281,000 authorizations.

Building permit authorizations declined in three of the four of the regions in March. In the West, authorizations fell by 10.4 percent followed by the South where authorizations declined by 6.2 percent while in the Midwest, permits declined by 2.1 percent. Only the Northeast posted an increase, rising by 24.7 percent.

Year-over-year, building permit authorizations increased in all four regions with the Northeast posting the largest increase of 24.7 percent, followed by the South which posted a 21.8 percent increase and the West and the Midwest saw gains of 10.7 and 9.2 percent, respectively.

Housing Completions:

The number of homes that were completed during the month increased by 11.0 percent from February to March with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 800,000 completions reported in March compared to February’s revised estimate of 721,000 completions. Housing completions were 36.3 percent higher than in March of last year when an estimated 587,000 annual completions were reported.

Single-family completions in March were at an annual rate of 593,000 units, which was 2.6 percent higher than February’s revised rate of 578,000 and 34.8 percent above last year’s rate of 440,000 units. Multi-family completions in March were at a rate of 202,000 units, 49.6 percent higher than the rate of 135,000 units completed in February and 48.5 percent higher than the 136,000 completions in March of last year.

On an unadjusted basis, housing completions in 2013 have so far been 31.5 percent higher than in 2012.

Tags: housing starts, single-family homes, multi-family dwellings, building permits, housing completions

Source:
Census Bureau

Reported by Chris Moore