Housing starts jump 7% in March to highest level since before recession

|  April 16, 2013 |

Apartment construction in March fueled a jump to the highest rate of housing starts since June 2008.

Apartment construction in March fueled a jump to the highest rate of housing starts since June 2008.

The housing recovery boom marches on. Following a month of stagnation in February, housing starts jumped 7 percent in March to their highest levels since June 2008, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Commerce Department.

The big month pushed construction on houses and apartments over the seven figure threshold to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.04 million in March. Not only is that a 7-percent increase over the revised February estimate of 968,000, it’s a whopping 46.7 percent increase over the March 2012 rate of 706,000.

The jump came thanks to multi-family starts. Apartments rose 27 percent in march to a rate of 392,000. Meanwhile Ssngle-family home starts in March were 4.8 below the revised February figure at 619,000.

Housing completions in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 800,000. That marks an 11-percent increase from the revised February estimate of 721,000 and is 36.3-percent higher than the March 2012 mark of 587,000.

Completions of single family homes March were up 2.6 percent to a rate of 593,000. Apartment completions were at a rate of 202,000.

Building permits in March fell 3.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 902,000. That mark is still 17.3 percent better than the March 2012 estimate of 769,000.

Permits issued to single-family homes fell 0.3 percent in March to  a rate of 595,000. Permits were issued to apartments at a rate of 283,000.

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