WASHINGTON (AP) — U. S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in April, one month after topping the 1 million mark for the first time since 2008. But most of the decline was in apartment construction, which tends to vary sharply from month to month.

And applications for new construction reached a five-year peak, evidence that the housing revival will be sustained.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that builders started construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 853,000, a 16.5 percent drop from the March pace of 1.02 million. Applications for building permits rose 14.3 percent to a rate of 1.02 million, the most since June 2008.

Builders are benefiting from a sustained rebound in housing that began a year ago. Steady job growth, rock-bottom mortgage rates and rising home values have boosted demand.

New construction of single-family homes declined 2.1 percent in April to an annual rate of 610,000. Multi-family construction, which is volatile, plunged 39 percent to a rate of 243,000. That drop more than reversed a 26 percent surge in March.

Housing starts fell last month in every region except the Midwest, where it rose 11 percent compared with March. New construction dropped 28 percent in the South. It fell 13 percent in the Northeast and 6 percent in the West.

Even with the sharp drop in construction last month, confidence among builders is rising. The National Association of Home Builders says its builder confidence index rebounded in May to a reading of 44, up from 41 in April. The outlook for sales reached its highest point in more than six years.

New-home sales rose 1.5 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000. That's still below the 700,000 pace considered healthy. But sales are 18.5 percent higher than a year ago.

Several major homebuilders have reported strong annual increases in orders for the first three months of the year. That includes the start of the spring home-selling season, the traditional peak period for sales.

Ryland Group Inc. said this week that orders in April jumped 59 percent from a year earlier. And over the first three months of this year. orders have jumped 54 percent.

Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to data from the homebuilders' group.

About News.net

Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.

 

FAQs

Email

If you have any questions or concerns please email us on support@news.net

Phone

  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.

Cancel