Starts declined 14.8 percent to 543 thousand in the South but increased in the West (+1.8 percent to 287 thousand), the Midwest (+5.6 percent to 171 thousand) and in the Northeast (+7.6 percent to 141 thousand).
Groundbreaking on single-family homes, the largest segment of the market, declined 6 percent to an annualized rate of 722,000, reaching the lowest since October. Falls were recorded in the South (-13.1 percent to 370 thousand) and in the Northeast (-13.8 percent to 50 thousand) while single-family starts increased in the West (+6.3 percent to 186 thousand) and the Midwest (+6.4 percent to 116 thousand). Housing starts for the volatile multi-family segment slumped 6.9 percent to 403 thousand, also the lowest in three months.
For building permits, the South recorded the only decrease (-3.4 percent to 567 thousand) while permits rose in the West (0.7 percent to 272 thousand), the Midwest (+4.2 percent to 197 thousand) and the Northeast (+5.1 percent to 103 thousand). Multi-family permits were down 8.4 percent to 370 thousand while single-family rose 3.7 percent to 737 thousand.
Year-on-year, housing starts rose 0.9 percent while building permits went down 2.3 percent.