HVAC Breaking News

March 19, 2003: Housing Starts Decline In February

March 19, 2003
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce has reported an 11 percent decline in housing starts from January's seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.82 million starts to a 1.62 million unit pace in February. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) attributed the drop to unusually cold and wet weather across much of the nation, combined with economic and job market weakness, and expectations of war in Iraq.

On the other hand, residential building permits — an indicator of future building activity —moved up slightly to a solid rate of 1.79 million units.

"Builders are being careful to avoid any significant overhang in their inventories of unsold homes, and are wisely ratcheting down the pace of new construction to a rate that's more sustainable under the current conditions of economic and geopolitical uncertainty," said Kent Conine, president of the NAHB.

David Seiders, NAHB’s chief economist, noted that the fundamentals of the housing market remain basically solid. "Given the strong permit numbers we are seeing, the tight inventory situation, healthy house-price performance, and especially the favorable interest-rate picture, home builders are in good position to pick up the pace of housing production as today's economic and political uncertainties head toward resolution. Assuming the best scenarios of a decisive and relatively quick end to the dispute in Iraq and an anticipated fiscal stimulus package, we're still looking at a year-end housing production figure very close to last year's exceptional 1.7 million units."

The slowdown in February occurred in the single-family sector, where starts decreased 13.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.3 million units. "Keeping things in perspective, this is just shy of the stellar 1.36 million unit rate of single-family housing production gauged for all of 2002," Conine stated. Meanwhile, the pace of multifamily housing production appeared unaffected by the latest news, posting a 2 percent gain in February to a rate of 327,000 units.

Publication date: 03/17/2003

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by Greg Mazurkiewicz

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2014 Energy Efficiency Forum

Highlights from the 25th annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C.


NEWSMakers: Mark Satterfield

Mark Satterfield, founder and CEO of Gentle Rain Marketing Inc. and author of “The One Week Marketing Plan” talks about his book and the importance of HVAC blogging. Posted on Sept. 19.

More Podcasts


NEWS 09-15-14 cover

2014 September 15

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Venting R-22

The NEWS reported that a man received prison time for venting R-22. Should EPA step up enforcement?
View Results Poll Archive


2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con