US Housing Starts Drop to Slowest Pace in Five Months

By Michael Sasso
BNN Bloomberg – Investing
February 16, 2024
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

US new-home construction sank at the start of the year by the most since the onset of the pandemic, indicating the recovery in the housing market will be gradual as many buyers await a further decline in mortgage rates. Residential starts decreased 14.8% last month to a 1.3 million annualized rate, after an upward revision to the prior month, government data showed Friday. Multifamily home construction plummeted by more than 35% after surging in the prior month, while single-family groundbreakings also slowed. The headline figure was the slowest pace in five months. “The monthly housing starts numbers are extremely noisy and prone to revisions, but the bigger picture is that single-family starts are trending higher, lagging the drop in mortgage rates towards the end of last year, while multi-family starts are trending lower, lagging the rollover in rent inflation,” said Kieran Clancy at Pantheon Macroeconomics. Building permits, a proxy for future construction, decreased to a 1.5 million rate. 

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