Housing Starts Retreat 3.7% in April, March Revised Higher

Housing starts pulled back a bit more than economists expected in April. Regionally, only the South had a good month.

The Census Bureau's New Residential Construction report shows a pullback in permits and starts in April.

Building Permits

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,352,000. This is 1.8 percent (±1.3 percent) below the revised March rate of 1,377,000, but is 7.7 percent (±0.9 percent) above the April 2017 rate of 1,255,000. Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 859,000; this is 0.9 percent (±1.4 percent)* above the revised March figure of 851,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 450,000 in April.

Housing Starts

Privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,287,000. This is 3.7 percent (±11.4 percent)* below the revised March estimate of 1,336,000, but is 10.5 percent (±9.7 percent) above the April 2017 rate of 1,165,000. Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 894,000; this is 0.1 percent (±11.8 percent)* above the revised March figure of 893,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 374,000.

Starts by Region

  • Total -3.7%
  • Single Family Total: +0.1%
  • Northeast: -8.1%
  • Northeast Single Family: -9.7%
  • Midwest: -16.3%
  • Midwest Single Family: -29.8%
  • South: 6.4%
  • South Single Family: 17.2%
  • West: -12.0%
  • West Single Family: -10.1%

Only the South had a good month.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments
No. 1-1
flubber
flubber

I live in the Orlando, FL area. Construction is booming in Central Florida. New single family homes, condos, apartments, strip centers, and restaurants. Also, I-4 is undergoing $6 billion renovation. We had an influx of Puerto Rican families after their devastating hurricane. I would imagine the majority of people moving to the Sunshine State are fleeing cold weather and high taxes. Traffic here is bad and getting worse. Many of the housing developments are out in old citrus groves or cow country. Some of the developments are planned communities with thousands of homes. I assume contractors and their suppliers are having a good year.

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