Figures for February were revised to show housing starts jumped 6.9 percent compared to an initial 5.2 percent increase.
In March, starts of single family houses went down 9.2 percent to 764 thousand, the lowest since October and starts of buildings with five units or more declined 8.5 percent to 312 thousand, the lowest in a year. Housing starts dropped the most in Midwest (-25.4 percent), followed by the West (-15.7 percent) and the South (-8.4 percent) but jumped in the Northeast (+61.3 percent).
Building permits came in at 1086 thousand, down from 1177 in February. Single-family permits were down 1.2 percent to 727 thousand and authorizations in buildings with five units or more shrank 20.6 percent to 324 thousand. Decrease were recorded in all regions: the Northeast (-17.9 percent), the West (-15.5 percent), the South (-3.2 percent) and the Midwest (-3.1 percent).
Year-on-year, housing starts rose 14.2 percent and building permits went up 4.6 percent.