Housing starts stalled

March 18, 2003

Starts drop 11%; permits, completions hold steady

Inman News Features

Groundbreaking on new homes plunged 11 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.62 million units, the U.S. Commerce Department's Census Bureau reported today.

Starts on single-family homes were down 13.7 percent to a rate of 1.3 million units in February from the previous month's rate of 1.5 million homes.

Housing starts last month were 9.3 percent below the February 2002 rate of approximately 1.79 million units, according to the Census Bureau.

The government reported an increase in building permits in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.79 million, up 0.4 percent from January's rate of 1.78 million, and up 1.1 percent from 1.77 million during the same month a year ago.

Housing completions were up 4.5 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.67 million units from January's estimate of 1.6 million. Completions were also up 0.3 percent compared with the rate of 1.67 million recorded during the same month a year earlier.

Copyright: Inman News Service

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