Privately-owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,215,000, 6.8% below the revised February estimate of 1,303,000, but 9.2% above the March 2016 rate of 1,113,000, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Dept. Single-family housing starts in March were at a rate of 821,000, 6.2% below the revised February figure of 875,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 385,000.
“The three-month moving average for single-family starts has reached a post-recession high, which shows that this sector is continuing to firm,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz in a press release. “We can expect further gains in single-family production throughout the year, while multifamily starts should level off.”
Building permits. Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,260,000, 3.6% above the revised February rate of 1,216,000 and 17% above the March 2016 rate of 1,077,000. Single-family authorizations in March were at a rate of 823,000, 1.1% below the revised February figure of 832,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 401,000 in March.