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Housing Starts; Permits Rise in April

Nationwide housing starts rose 6.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million in April, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Overall permit issuance was also up 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.12 million.

“This month’s modest rise in housing production is consistent with builder sentiment, which has remained steady and in positive territory in recent months,” said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill.

“Though housing construction data is relatively flat for the beginning of 2016, we anticipate a ramping up of housing production during the rest of the year, given a strengthening job market, low mortgage interest rates and favorable demographics,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

Single-family and multifamily production each registered gains in April. Single-family housing starts rose 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 778,000 units while multifamily starts increased 13.9 percent to 394,000 units.

Combined single- and multifamily starts were mixed in April, rising 22.2 percent in the Midwest and 14.1 percent in the South. The Northeast posted a 7.6 percent loss and the West registered a 10 percent loss.

Single-family permits increased 1.5 percent to a rate of 736,000 while multifamily permits rose 8 percent to 380,000.

All four regions posted permit increases in April. The Northeast, Midwest, South and West posted respected gains of 3 percent, 3.3 percent, 3.3 percent and 4.7 percent.