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Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts Rebound
by Tom Moeller  May 17, 2016

Housing starts increased 6.6% (-1.7% y/y) during April to 1.172 million (AR). The gain followed a 9.4% March decline to 1.099 million, revised from 1.089 million. Expectations were for 1.121 million starts in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Starts of single-family homes increased 3.3% (4.3% y/y) to 778,000 following a 10.9% drop. Multi-family starts, which include apartments & condominiums, increased 13.9% (-11.7% y/y) to 394,000 after a 6.0% fall.

By region, starts in the Midwest rebounded 22.2% (11.3% y/y) followed by a downwardly revised 14.1% rise (18.2% y/y) in the South. In the West, starts declined 10.0% (-24.7% y/y), and in the Northeast starts fell 7.6% (-29.8% y/y).

Permits to build a new home rebounded 3.6% (-5.3% y/y) following four months of decline. Permits to build single-family homes rose 1.5% (8.4% y/y), but multi-family permits recovered 8.0% (-23.8% y/y).

The housing starts and permits figures can be found in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure is contained in the AS1REPNA database.

Housing Starts (000s, SAAR) Apr Mar Feb Apr Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 1,172 1,099 1,213 -1.7 1,107 1,001 928
 Single-Family 778 753 845 4.3 713 648 618
 Multi-Family 394 346 368 -11.7 395 356 307
Starts By Region
 Northeast 134 145 80 -29.8 136 110 97
 Midwest 187 153 211 11.3 151 163 150
 South 616 540 612 18.2 555 496 464
 West 235 261 310 -24.7 265 235 215
Building Permits 1,116 1,077 1,162 -5.3 1,164 1,052 991
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