Volatility in multifamily housing caused housing starts nationwide to drop 10.8 percent in March, the Commerce Department said.
Volatility in multifamily housing
caused housing starts nationwide to drop 10.8 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate 510,000
units, the U.S. Commerce Department reported.
Officials with the National Association of Home
Builders said that while there was some good news in the Commerce Department’s
report -– such as gains in apartment and condo construction -– many builders are
taking a wait-and-see approach.
interest among potential home buyers has builders more optimistic these days,
we don't want to ramp up production until sales of new homes pick up," said
NAHB Chairman Joe Robson. "A cautious attitude about new building is
definitely what's called for here, and that's what most builders have wisely
adopted for the time being."
The department’s numbers
were similar to what the NAHB predicted, said David Crowe, the association’s
"Today's numbers are
right on target with NAHB's forecast, which anticipates that housing starts
will bottom out in the second quarter, after new-home sales have
stabilized," Crowe said. "Single-family starts remained virtually
unchanged over the past three months, indicating that we are closing in on a
bottom. Multifamily starts -- which tend to bounce around from month to month --
were responsible for the decline in total starts as they readjusted following a
substantial gain in February."
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