Single-family homes led US housing starts in February

New apartment buildings nationwide and in NYC have dragged

U.S. housing starts are on the upswing, despite a lackluster showing from apartment buildings.

February’s permits for single-family homes were the highest in a decade, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Overall, housing starts climbed to a four-month high last month, Bloomberg reported.

Nationwide, residential housing starts inched 3 percent higher to 1.29 million. Construction of single-family homes rose 6.5 percent to 872,000, the highest level since October 2007. Applications to build one-family homes also rose to 832,000, the strongest since September 2007.

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But overall, construction permits dropped 6.2 percent to 1.21 million thanks to a steep 21.6 percent drop in permits for multi-family construction. Actual construction on apartment buildings, including townhouses, fell 3.7 percent in February to 416,000.

In New York City, the number of approved residential construction permits — and new permit applications — fell last year, according to The Real Deal‘s own analysis. Citywide, the city’s Department of Buildings approved 15,697 new units last year, a 70 percent drop from 2015. Permits also dropped in every borough, most notably in Brooklyn, where developers filed permits for 23,393 new units in 2015, a number that dropped to just 4,535 last year.

So far in 2017, the number of approved permits is showing gains.  [Bloomberg]E.B. Solomont