Nationwide housing starts rose 20.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.135 million units in April from an upwardly revised March reading, according to newly released data from the U.S. Commerce Department. This is the highest level of housing production since November 2007.
Both housing sectors registered production gains this month. Single-family housing starts increased 16.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000 in April while multifamily starts rose 27.2 percent to 402,000 units.
“Our builders tell us that consumers are slowly returning to the market,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. “This month’s report shows release of pent-up demand and evidence of a sustainable housing recovery.”
“The April gains make up for the production dips we saw in the past two months, but single-family housing is still only about halfway back to what could be considered a normal market,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “With low interest rates and affordable home prices, we expect more upward momentum in the months ahead.”
Combined single- and multifamily starts were up in three out of the four regions in April. The Northeast posted an 85.9 percent gain, the Midwest rose 27.8 percent and the West increased 39 percent. Housing production dropped 1.8 percent in the South.
Overall permit issuance rose 10.1 percent in April to a rate of 1.143 million.
Multifamily permits registered a 20.5 percent gain to a rate of 477,000 while single-family permits increased 3.7 percent to 666,000.
Regionally, the Northeast, South and West posted respective permit gains of 38.8 percent, 9.9 percent and 3 percent. Permits dipped 1.3 percent in the Midwest.