Multifamily development drives March increase in housing starts

New construction rebounded sharply from a February dip

Apr.April 17, 2018 03:00 PM
A multifamily development in San Jose, California (Credit: Flickr)

Construction starts exceeded expectations in March on the back of strong multifamily development.

A federal report released Tuesday show that residential new construction rose by 1.9 percent to a 1.32 million annualized rate, around 50,000 more than the 1.27 million earlier predicted, according to Bloomberg.

The typically volatile multifamily sector saw starts rise by 14.4 percent, reversing the 10.2 percent drop in February. A 19.7 percent increase in multifamily starts in January fueled that month’s overall 9.7 increase in construction starts.

In March, single-family homes dropped 5.5 percent, the most in seven years, because of a shortage of workers, rising costs of materials, and few ready-to-build lots available, Bloomberg reported.

Geographically, the Midwest saw the most month-over-month growth, gaining 22.4 percent. Starts in the Northeast rose by a modest 0.8 percent and starts dropped in both the South and the West. The report was a joint effort of the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development [Bloomberg] — Dennis Lynch 

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