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Housing Starts Show Mixed Results in April
Single-family Up, Multifamily Down


Combined housing starts posted a 2.6 percent drop last month compared to March, led by a 9.2 percent decline in the multifamily sector.

In spite of analysts' expectations for a small gain in April, housing starts actually fell 2.6 percent month-over-month. However, the total number still registered a modest gain of 0.7 percent over April of 2016. And for the first four months of this year, starts are up a healthy 5.3 percent over the same period last year.

Separately, single-family housing starts in April showed a 0.4 percent bump above the revised March figure but multifamily starts were down almost ten percentage points.

According to Mark Vitner, senior economist at the Wells Fargo Economics Group, and economic analyst Misa Batcheller, mild winter weather that allowed homebuilding to proceed earlier in the year than normal is a likely cause for the combined starts decline in a month that would usually see a gain over the previous month. They predict that housing starts will ultimately trend higher this year to the tune of 7.3 percent.

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July 17, 2019, 8:31 pm PDT

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