According to newly released figures from HUD and the US Census Bureau, national housing production increased to 0.8 percent and the seasonally adjusted annual rate was 917,000 units this February. This slight increase represents both the single-family and multi-family sectors. Single-family starts continue to see an increase in demand and haven’t been this high in demand since 2008. While parts of the nation saw a decrease in both single-family and multi-family starts, the nation as a whole still saw an increase.
Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, NC said, “Demand for new homes and apartments are definitely rising as the spring buying season approaches and more young people move out on their own. Builders are responding to this improved demand by putting more crews back to work and pulling more permits for future construction, though this positive activity is being constrained by continuing issues with appraisals and credit availability for both builders and buyers, and also newly arising challenges such as lot surcharges and increased costs for labor and materials.”
David Crowe, NAHB chief economist said, “Today’s report indicates that, despite some bumps in the road, overall housing production continues on the solid upward trend that we saw throughout 2012. Moreover, further gains in permit issuance are a positive sign that home construction will continue to drive economic and job growth in the coming months, albeit at a slower pace than would be possible without certain limiting factors.”
Housing starts for single-family dwellings increased 0.5 percent and the seasonally adjusted annual rate was 618,000 units for February. This brings single-family starts to the highest level since June 2008. Multi-family starts increased to 1.4 percent and the total of 299,000 for the seasonally adjusted annual rate. In February, Northeast and Midwest regions saw an increase of 18.4 percent in single-family starts and 37.5 percent for multi-family starts. However, in the South and West, single-family starts decreased 5.7 percent and multi-family starts decreased 7.2 percent.
Permit issuance increased 4.6 percent to 946,000 units in February which is the strongest for permit issuance since June of 2008. Included in this gain was a 2.7 percent increase to 600,000 units on single-family homes and 8.1 percent increase to 346,000 units on multi-family homes. Permit issuance increased 1.4 percent in the Midwest, 9.9 percent in the South, and 6.4 percent in the West for February. Permit issuance decreased 18.2 percent in the Northeast.