WASHINGTON (5/20/15)--It appears winter has lost its grip on the housing market, as new construction levels picked up in April, according to numbers from the Census Bureau Tuesday.
Housing starts jumped 20.2% from March’s revised numbers and sit 9.2% ahead of the pace seen last year in April (Economy.com May 19). Further, single-family starts rose 16.7% during the month and multifamily starts leapt by 31.9%.
Though analysts say the market is largely playing catchup.
“Although the April numbers for residential construction look good, it should be kept in mind that housing starts are only where they should have been if there had been no sharp drop in construction,” said Andres Carbacho-Burgos, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com). “In other words, April totals are only slightly higher than the average for the second half of 2014.”
In addition to starts, permits also climbed during the month, with single-family permits increasing by 3.7% in April and 7.1% annually. Completions also posted a solid month, with single-family completions rising 14.5%.
Looking forward, the market doesn’t look quite as rosy.
Homebuilders lost a little confidence in the housing market in May, according to data released Monday by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
The NAHB’s gauge of homebuilder confidence dropped two points for the month to 54, with confidence in present sales of single-family homes also falling two points to 59.
Additionally, confidence in prospective-buyer traffic slipped to 39.