New Residential Construction Sees Mixed Results in Housing Starts

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Apr. 28, 2014 12:00 am  

Housing starts for privately owned units stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000 in March, a rise of 2.8 percent above the February number of 920,000 but 5.9 percent below the March 2013 total of 1,005,000.

Building permits, an indicator of future construction, were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 990,000, 2.4 percent below the February rate of 1,014,000 but 11.2 percent above the March 2013 rate of 890,000.

The figures come from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

“The latest pace of 946,000 units on an annualized basis, however, is still well short of what is needed to relieve the housing shortage,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. “Another good 50 to 60 percent increase is needed to measurably bring additional new inventory onto the market.”

“Past housing recessions have been followed by a strong snap-back in housing starts,” he said. “That is not the case in the current recovery despite the housing shortage. The extreme difficulty of obtaining construction loans appears to be hindering a robust recovery, especially among locally based homebuilders.”



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