Single-family housing starts hit highest level since 2007
Single-family housing production increased 7.2 percent in February, according to newly released data from the U.S. department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Commerce Department. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 822,000 units is the highest level it’s hit since November 2007.
“February’s single-family gains indicate that this sector is strengthening in line with our forecast,” says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “As the U.S. economy firms, job creation continues and mortgages interest rates remain low, we should see further growth in housing production moving forward.”
The data also showed:
- Nationwide housing starts rose 5.2 percent to 1.178 million units.
- Multifamily starts inched up 0.8 percent to 356,000 units.
- Combined single- and multifamily starts increased in the West (26.1 percent), Midwest (19.9 percent) and South (7.1 percent), but decreased in the Northeast (51.3 percent).
While housing starts increased, overall permit issuance dropped 3.1 percent due to an 8.4 percent decline in multifamily permits. Regionally, permit issuance increased in the Northeast (40.4 percent) but decreased in the Midwest (11.4 percent), West (7.2 percent) and South (4.4 percent).
Despite these losses, NAHB Chairman Ed Brady says, “This month’s report is consistent with positive builder sentiment and other economic indicators showing that the housing market continues to recover at a gradual pace.”