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Monthly Housing Starts Drop 3.7 Percent
Slowdown of Multi-Housing Projects Responsible


The West region, aided by mild and dry weather, experienced a big gain in single-family starts, 21.2 percent, through the first four months of the year. The South region posted a 6.8 percent increase over that timeframe.

Though single-family starts ticked up higher in April, overall starts were off almost four points month to month due to an 11.3 percent loss in multi-family starts. This, according to the Wells Fargo Securities Economics Group, is evidence that "the apartment market is showing some signs of topping out."

However the single-family sector has started the year strong - up 8.3 percent compared to the first four months of 2017 - leading to a 9.1 percent gain in overall starts year-to-date.

This caused the Economics Group to declare that the housing recovery continues its advance.

"Home builders report strong demand for new homes across virtually all price points and in most major markets," states Mark Vitner, senior economist for the group. "An earlier jump in single-family starts in January and February meant that starts were already at a lofty level going into the spring and made it difficult to post large seasonally-adjusted gains."

He feels that along with the 1.0 percent monthly rise in single-family homes under construction, "the supply of new homes and apartments will almost assuredly increase in the coming months."

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August 17, 2019, 10:54 am PDT

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