Housing starts declined 1.1% from January to an annualized pace of 698,000 units. January’s report was revised upward to an annual pace of 706,000 units. Housing starts continue to trend upward, albeit slowly. The three month average for starts is currently 695,000, well above the 12-month average of 616,000 units. Starts are 35% higher than year-ago levels.
Single-family starts led February’s drop, falling 9.9%. This follows four consecutive months of growth in single-family starts. Multi-family starts partially offset the decline, growing by 21.1% in February.
Permit issuance was up in February, rising 5.1% to an annual pace of 717,000 permits. This growth was seen in both single- and mulit-family permits.
Although housing starts are improving, they remain well below historical levels. There is a long way to go before starts make it back to their long run average of 1.5 million units per year.
Read the report.