Housing Starts Drop 3.7% in April

Housing starts decreased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.287 million in April, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The figure was 3.7% below the March rate of 1.336 million but 10.5% higher than the April 2017 rate. Single-family home starts were virtually unchanged, nudging up 0.1% from last month. Multifamily slowed 12.6% since March but rose 19.1% since April 2017.

Housing activity decreased in three of the four regions as the Northeast, Midwest, and West declined 8.1%, 16.3%, and 12.0%, respectively. Housing starts in the South rose 6.4%.

New building permits fell during the month, decreasing 1.8% to 1.352 million. Multifamily led the decrease, slipping 7.4%, while single-family building permits increased 0.9%. New building permits were up 7.7% from the April 2017 rate.

Housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.257 million, up 2.8% from the March estimate and 14.8% above the April 2017 rate.

Read the Census release.