Nationwide housing starts rose in April 20.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.135 million units, the highest level of housing production since November 2007.
Newly released data from the U.S. Commerce Department shows both housing sectors gaining last month. Single-family housing starts increased 16.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000 in April while multifamily starts rose 27.2% to 402,000 units.
“Our builders tell us that consumers are slowly returning to the market,” said Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a builder from Blue Springs, MO. “This month’s report shows release of pent-up demand and evidence of a sustainable housing recovery.”
“The April gains make up for the production dips we saw in the past two months, but single-family housing is still only about halfway back to what could be considered a normal market,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “With low interest rates and affordable home prices, we expect more upward momentum in the months ahead.”
Combined single- and multifamily starts were up in three out of the four regions in April. The Northeast posted an 85.9% gain, the Midwest rose 27.8% and the West increased 39%. Housing production dropped 1.8% in the South.
Overall permit issuance rose 10.1% in April to a rate of 1.143 million.
Multifamily permits registered a 20.5% gain to a rate of 477,000 while single-family permits increased 3.7% to 666,000.
Regionally, the Northeast, South and West posted respective permit gains of 38.8%, 9.9% and 3%. Permits dipped 1.3% in the Midwest.