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--5 Things We Learned From February New Residential Construction Data
By Kevin Kastner
WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following are the key points from the
February new residential construction data released Friday by the
- February housing starts fell by 7.0% to a 1.236 million rate,
below the 1.287 million pace expected, but following a small upward
revision to 1.329 million for the already-strong January data. As a
result, the first quarter average stands at 1.283 million up from 1.256
million in the fourth quarter.
- Permits posted a 5.7% decline to a 1.298 million rate after
hitting a 10-year high in the previous month, while those permitted but
not started fell 1.9%, suggesting starts could decline modestly in the
coming months. The NAHB index slipped modestly in March, but remained
- Starts fell in the Northeast (-3.5%), South (-7.3%) and West
(-12.9%) after large gains in January, but partially rebounded in the
Midwest region (+7.6%).
- Single-family housing starts rose 2.9% in February, continuing
their generally upward trend, but that was eclipsed by a 26.1% reversal
in multi-family starts. Single-family building permits were down 0.6%,
while multi-family permits were down 14.8%.
- Homes under construction were up 0.1% and completions rose 7.8%,
both to new 10-year highs, so new home supply should see a bump up when
that data is released on March 23.
** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **