New homebuilding slowed notably in April, with the pace falling 16.5% from the previous month. The pace of new construction fell to 853,000 annual units, from over one million in March. Housing starts are now at their slowest pace since November of last year. Despite the deterioration, we have seen significant improvement in the past year.
April’s decline was driven primarily by multi-family construction, which fell 38.9% from the previous month. Single-family construction also slowed over the month, albeit by a much more modest 2.1%. Multi-family construction tends to be volatile, but has accounted for a large portion of the improvement over the past year.
Housing permits rose sharply in April, giving hope for a rebound in construction in March. Permit issuance rose 14.3%, driven primarily by multi-family permits, which rose 37.5%.
Read the Census report.