Housing starts hit a record low in April, the U.S. Commerce Department reported, but the news wasn’t all bad as single-family construction rose 2.8 percent, the second straight month of gains in that sector.
Overall, housing starts fell 13 percent to an annual rate of 458,000, driven by the decline in construction of apartment buildings and condominiums. Building permits, an indicator of future construction, fell 3.3 percent to a record low of 494,000.
Here’s a look at housing starts at the regional level:
â— Northeast: fell 31 percent
â— Midwest: dropped 21 percent
â— South: declined 21 percent
â— West: rose 43 percent
Analysts believe that while joblessness will keep some people from starting new households, increased demand for more housing is inevitable.
â€œNow that fewer homes are hitting the market for sale, the growing U.S. population will have fewer homes to choose from,â€ Tony Crescenzi, chief bond-market strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. in New York, wrote in a note to clients. â€œThis will undoubtedly be a game changer for inventories and prices.â€
Source: Bloomberg, Bob Willis (