In a joint announcement, the U.S. Census Bureau and HUD revealed positive residential construction statistics for April 2015. This announcement included pertinent information on building permits, housing starts, and housing completions.
"Some of the increase in the total and both sectors was due to poor readings in February and March due to particularly cold and snow-laden weather," said David Crowe, SVP and chief economist at NAHB. "But the increases, particularly in the single-family market, are also indicative of the continued healing taking place."
The organizations noted that 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 increase from 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 were at a rate of 666,000 in April, a 3.7 percent increase from the revised March figure of 642,000. Units in buildings with five units or more had an authorization rate of 444,000 in April.
Privately-owned housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,135,000 in April, according to the data. 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, a 16.7 percent increase above the revised March figure of 628,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 389,000.
Privately-owned housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 986,000 in April, the statistics reveal. This is 20.4 percent above the revised March estimate of 819,000 and is 19.4 percent above the April 2014 rate of 826,000. Single-family housing completions in April were at a rate of 688,000; this is 14.5 percent above the revised March rate of 601,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 288,000.
"Home buyers have been reluctant to buy until there is a clear sign that the economy, and more particularly their own future, is more positive," Crowe said. "As employment grows and some wages increase and as home equity improves, some of those households break out of their concerns and are beginning to shop for a new home."
New Residential Construction data for May 2015 will be released on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 8:30 A.M. at Census.gov.