The Real Deal Miami

Housing completions at all-time low but permits and construction rise

April 20, 2011 01:28PM

U.S. housing completions are on pace to shatter last year’s record low, as completions in March reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 509,000, 14.2 percent less than February and 20.8 percent below March 2010, according to Department of Commerce data released today. The record high of 2.25 million was achieved in March 2006. But the report suggests a brighter future is not far off, as private home construction permits jumped 11.2 percent from February to 594,000, still far below the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 from a year ago. Similarly, housing starts reached 549,000 in March, but were down 13.4 percent from a year ago. Both home permits and housing starts are up significantly from their lows of 522,000 in March 2009 and 477,000 in April 2009, respectively. “Despite continued volatility, today’s numbers show welcome growth within the housing market,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “With 230,000 private-sector jobs added in March in industries from manufacturing to education to construction, there are positive signs for widespread growth throughout the economy and a stronger housing market in the coming year.” TRD