April saw a sharp fall in housing starts primarily due to apartment and condominium declines. The Census Bureau reported a 17% reduction for the month with a 38% drop in multi-family units. This emphasizes the volatility of the market since each livable unit with such buildings counts as an individual statistic. New building starts boasted gains of 14%--much coming from the building of large apartment buildings.
Straight–Forward Good News:
The two more stable measurements, single-family home starts, fell only 2% allowing the overall stat to remain 21% above last year’s levels. In addition, near-record low mortgage rates in combination with the drop in foreclosures and by extension a constricting of the new home supplies available for sale have all been positive strengthening influences on the housing market and national economic growth.
Take the good news with the bad but don’t get too carried away by either side!