New Home Construction Jumps 22%

17 03 2009

New home building unexpectedly rebounded last month as builders nationwide increased housing starts to a 583,000 annual pace from a record low of 477,000 set in January.

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported Tuesday that starts of new homes in the South, which includes Florida, jumped 30 percent last month compared to the month before, but they were still 44 percent below home starts in the South one year ago.

Nationwide, new home construction rose 22 percent from January to February, but remained 48.5 percent below year-ago levels. The surge was led by an 83 percent jump in multifamily construction. Single-family home-building rose a modest 1.1 percent.

Only one region reported a drop in housing starts – the West, where starts declined 24.6 percent. The largest increase was in the Northeast, where starts increased 88 percent.

Permits for new home construction in the South rose 5.9 percent from January to February, but were still 46 percent lower than the prior year.

Nationwide, permits rose 3 percent from January to February, but remained 48.8 percent lower than a year ago.

The South region includes Virginia; Maryland; Washington D.C.; Alabama; Arkansas; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Kentucky; Louisiana; Mississippi; North Carolina; Oklahoma; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; and West Virginia.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce

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