Privately owned housing starts declined 3.7 percent in April, dropping from March’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.3 million to a rate of 1.2 million, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.
The adjusted rate is 10.5 percent above the April 2017 rate of 1.1 million.
The multifamily sector registered the biggest decline, falling 11.3 percent in April, with single-family starts growing 0.1 percent.
National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Robert Dietz said in a statement that starts remain at a healthy level despite the decline. “… builders must manage supply-side hurdles, such as ongoing building material price increases and shortages of land and labor, to meet growing housing demand,” Dietz said. “Lumber prices continue to rise, with recent increases adding more than $7,000 to the price of an average single-family home.”
Building permits for privately owned housing units also saw a decline from March, falling 1.8 percent to a rate of 1.3 million. Housing completions grew 2.8 percent to a rate of 1.2 million in April.
Regionally, privately owned housing starts fell 8.1 percent in the Northeast, 16.3 percent in the Midwest and 12.0 percent in the West. Housing starts in the South increased 6.4 percent.