Housing Starts Up, But Permits Are Down

Table 1. New privately-owned housing units started. (Source: Census Bureau)
Housing starts for privately owned homes in the month of April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,663,000, according to estimates from the latest report by the Census Bureau. This is 3% above the revised rate for March of 1,618,000 and 7% above the April 1999 rate of 1,561,000.

Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 1,329,000. This is essentially the same as the March figure of 1,325,000. The April rate for buildings with two to four units was 27,000. For buildings with five or more units, the April rate was 307,000.

Regional numbers for April were down compared to March in the Northeast and South, and up in the Midwest and West. Compared to April 99, all four regions were up.

During the first four months of 2000, a total of 515,400 housing units were started. This is basically unchanged from the 516,100 units started for the same period of 99.

Table 2. Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits.

Permit Me

Housing units authorized by building permits in April had a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,574,000. This is 1% below the revised March figure of 1,597,000 and 1% below the revised April 99 rate of 1,595,000.

Single-family housing permits in April were at a rate of 1,160,000. This figure is 6% less than the March rate of 1,238,000. Permits for buildings with two to four units were at an April rate of 62,000. The April permit rate for buildings with five units or more was 352,000, which was a 21% jump above the March figure of 291,000.

For the four regions in April, the West was up slightly, the Northeast was unchanged, while the Midwest and South were down. Looking at April of this year vs. last year, the Midwest is up slightly, the West is unchanged, and the Northeast and South are down.

For the first four months of this year, permits were issued for 504,800 housing units compared to 526,800 units for the same period of 99, which is a decline of 4%.

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