Housing starts up 6.6% in April

Construction across U.S. strengthening

Nationwide housing starts rose 6.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million in April.

Newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department shows that overall permit issuance was also up 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.12 million.

"This month's modest rise in housing production is consistent with builder sentiment, which has remained steady and in positive territory in recent months," said Ed Brady, a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill. and chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.

NAHB's chief economist Robert Dietz agreed.

"Though housing construction data is relatively flat for the beginning of 2016, we anticipate a ramping up of housing production during the rest of the year, given a strengthening job market, low mortgage interest rates and favorable demographics," he said.

Single-family and multifamily production each registered gains in April. Single-family housing starts rose 3.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 778,000 units while multifamily starts increased 13.9% to 394,000 units.

Combined single- and multifamily starts were mixed in April, rising 22.2% in the Midwest and 14.1% in the South. The Northeast posted a 7.6% loss and the West registered a 10% loss.

Single-family permits increased 1.5% to a rate of 736,000 while multifamily permits rose 8% to 380,000.

All four regions posted permit increases in April. The Northeast, Midwest, South and West posted respected gains of 3%, 3.3%, 3.3% and 4.7%.


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