Housing Starts for March 2018 Continue Positive Trend
Total starts rose 2% on the month, though single-family starts are down slightly.
New home construction is on the rise, as it has been since the end of the Great Recession in 2009. After adjusting for seasonal variations, the Commerce Department reported that home builders broke ground on 1.32 million units in March 2018, up 2% from February. That compares with just 478,000 in April 2009.
Single-family starts actually fell overall, but growth in multi-family housing made up for that and more. According to the New York Times, single-family home construction fell in the Northeast, South and West, but rose in the Midwest.
Prospects for future business are also good; new home permits also rose to 1.35 million in March, up 2.5% compared with February.
However, as reported by MarketWatch, home builder confidence is ebbing slightly, and single-family starts are down a bit, so home construction may be peaking rather than climbing. According the the NAHB report on confidence, builders are having trouble finding lots and keeping pace with rising materials costs. New administration tariffs on Canadian lumber and other products are pushing prices up.