US Housing Starts Rise More Than Expected

Housing starts in the United States rose 3 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1288 thousand in February of 2017, following an upwardly revised 1251 thousand in the previous month and beating market expectations of a 1.4 percent rise. It is the biggest rate in four months as construction of single-family houses hit a near 9-1/2-year high.

Single-family housing starts, the largest segment of the market went up 6.5 percent to 872 thousand, the highest since October of 2007. In contrast, the volatile multi-family segment declined 7.7 percent to 396 thousand. Starts jumped 35.7 percent to 323 thousand in the West but declined in the Northeast (-9.8 percent to 119 thousand); the Midwest (-4.6 percent to 187 thousand) and the South (-3.8 percent to 659 thousand). 

Building permits fell 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1213 thousand, more than market expectations of a 2.6 percent decline. Building permits for multi-family units shrank 26.9 percent to 334 thousand while single-family authorizations rose 3.1 percent to 832 thousand. Permits declined in the Northeast (-22.3 percent to 115 thousand), the South (-10.4 percent to 580 thousand) and in the West (-10 percent to 271 thousand) while increased in the Midwest (25.4 percent to 247 thousand). 

Year-on-year, housing starts went up 6.2 percent and building permits rose 4.4 percent. 

US Housing Starts Rise More Than Expected

U.S. Census Bureau | Joana Taborda |
3/16/2017 12:55:53 PM