US housing starts dropped in February

Weaknesses in multifamily construction dragged down the numbers

February was not a great month for housing starts in the U.S.

They fell 7 percent compared to January thanks to weaknesses in multifamily construction, hitting an annual rate of about 1.2 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Permits for residential buildings also fell 5.7 percent to an annual pace of about 1.3 million, while multifamily construction dropped by 26.1 percent.

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In January, housing starts were at an annual pace of about 1.3 million, while permits were at about 1.4 million, the newspaper reported.

The market for single-family homes has remained fairly strong, but as the condo and apartment markets  have cooled off, construction of larger buildings has slowed.

Things looked particularly good in the western part of the country, where the construction of single-family homes hit its best pace in more than 10 years. [WSJ]  – Eddie Small