Housing Starts Up 30 Percent From Last Year

According to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 717,000. That’s 2.6 percent above March’s revised number and 29.9 percent above April 2011. Single-family housing starts were also up in April, rising 2.3 percent from the month before. And though total building permits fell after rising 4.5 percent in March, single-family authorizations were at a rate of 475,000, which is a 1.9 percent increase over March’s revised figure of 466,000. More here.

New Home Sales Up 7.5 Percent From March 2011

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s New Residential Sales Report for March 2012 shows that sales of new single-family homes are up 7.5 percent over the previous year’s pace. According to the report, new home sales came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 328,000, which is 7.1 percent below February’s revised rate of 353,000 but a significant improvement over last March’s estimate of 305,000. February’s estimate was revised up from an originally reported 313,000, making that month’s sales pace the fastest since November 2009. Also, the median sales price of new houses sold during the month was $234,500; the average sales price was $291,200. At the current sales pace, there was a 5.3 month supply of new homes available for sale at the end of March. More here.

Building Permits Up 4.5 Percent In March

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s New Residential Construction report for March shows permits to build privately-owned housing units rose 4.5 percent in March. Permits were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 747,000, which is 30.1 percent above last March’s estimate. But though permits were up for the month, housing starts fell 5.8 percent from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000. Still, new residential construction is 10.3 percent above last year’s level and single-family housing starts were down just 0.2 percent for the month, which indicates the decline was due largely to a drop in multifamily construction. Also in the report, housing completions rose 4.2 percent in March. More here.