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Housing Starts, Completions Up in Latest Report
Single-family Starts Rise 6.5 Percent


Year-over-year, total starts, permits and completions were up over 4 percent last month.

In spite of a 3.7 percent decline in multifamily starts in February, overall starts grew 3.0 percent, buoyed by a solid 6.5 percent jump in single-family starts, the largest gain since before the Great Recession. These numbers, combined with the 7.3 percent decrease in multifamily starts in January, could signal a slowdown in apartment building in favor of traditional housing.

Regionally, the Midwest registered the largest single-family monthly gain at 20 percent and the Northeast grew 16.7 percent, both of which can be attributed in part to the milder than average weather last month. The West was up 16.8 percent but the South dropped 2.6 percent.

Building permits fell 6.2 percent month-over-month but still were 4.4 percent better than February 2016. And as additional evidence of a momentum swing in construction emphasis, single-family authorizations had a monthly gain of 3.1 percent.

Housing completions were up 5.4 percent over January and 8.7 percent above February 2016. However single-family completions fell 6.5 percent month-over-month.

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July 21, 2019, 1:17 pm PDT

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