WASHINGTON -- Privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,135,000. This is 20.2 percent above the revised March estimate of 944,000 and is 9.2 percent above the April 2014 rate of 1,039,000.
Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 733,000; this is 16.7 percent above the revised March figure of 628,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 389,000.
"Our builders tell us that consumers are slowly returning to the market," said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. "This month's report shows release of pent-up demand and evidence of a sustainable housing recovery."
"The April gains make up for the production dips we saw in the past two months, but single-family housing is still only about halfway back to what could be considered a normal market," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "With low interest rates and affordable home prices, we expect more upward momentum in the months ahead."
Combined single- and multifamily starts were up in three out of the four regions in April. The Northeast posted an 85.9 percent gain, the Midwest rose 27.8 percent and the West increased 39 percent. Housing production dropped 1.8 percent in the South.
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,143,000. This is 10.1 percent above the revised March rate of 1,038,000 and is 6.4 percent above the April 2014 estimate of 1,074,000.
Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 666,000; this is 3.7 percent above the revised March figure of 642,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 444,000 in April.
Regionally, the Northeast, South and West posted respective permit gains of 38.8 percent, 9.9 percent and 3 percent. Permits dipped 1.3 percent in the Midwest.