May 21, 2005

U.S. HOUSING STARTS JUMP IN APRIL

Following a sharp decrease in March 2005, the seasonally adjusted annual rate for privately owned housing starts rebounded in April, rising 11.0 percent from March to 2.04 million units, according to a report released by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. The April construction pace also was up 3.6 percent from a year ago. Single-family housing starts increased 6.3 percent to a rate of 1.64 million units, while starts for buildings with five or more units reached 351,000. The number of building permits issued, which can be an indicator of future building activity, rose 5.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.13 million permits.

Regionally, the South posted the largest increase in housing starts when compared with one year earlier, rising 18.8 percent, while the construction pace in the West increased 9.1 percent. The rate for privately owned housing starts declined in the Northwest and Midwest, falling 1.7 percent and 15.8 percent, respectively.

Posted by gandlwoods at May 21, 2005 08:21 AM