Nationwide housing starts climbed 6.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million, according to Commerce Department data released Tuesday. Permits, a gauge of future construction, also jumped 3.6 percent month over month, showing the uptick will likely stay.
“Though housing construction data is relatively flat for the beginning of 2016, we anticipate a ramping up of housing production during the rest of the year, given a strengthening job market, low mortgage interest rates, and favorable demographics,” says Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.
Single-family and multifamily starts both saw gains in April. Housing starts on single-family homes jumped 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 778,000 units. Multifamily starts, a more volatile sector, rose 13.9 percent to 394,000 units, the Commerce Department reported.
The bulk of the increase in single- and multifamily housing stats was in the Midwest and South. The Midwest saw a 22.2 percent month-over-month increase in housing starts, while the South saw a 14.1 percent boost. On the other hand, the Northeast saw starts drop 7.6 percent last month, while the West posted a 10 percent loss.
Housing permits, however, were up in all four regions in April, led by the largest gains in the West with a 4.7 percent month-over-month permit gain. The Midwest and South both registered 3.3 percent increases in permit issuance, and the Northeast saw a 3 percent increase.