Groundbreaking increased 6.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted
annual pace of 1.17 million units, the Commerce Department said
on Tuesday. March's starts were revised up slightly to a 1.10
million-unit rate from the previously reported 1.09 million-unit
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts rising
to a 1.13 million-unit pace last month. The government revised
seasonally adjusted housing starts data from January 2014
through March this year.
Last month's housing starts data added to strong April retail
sales in suggesting that the economy was picking up momentum
after growth almost halted in the first quarter.
Housing is being supported by a buoyant labor market, which is
increasing employment opportunities for young adults, and in
turn bolstering household formation.
In April, groundbreaking on single-family housing projects, the
largest segment of the market, increased 3.3 percent to a
Single-family starts in the South, where most home building
takes place, jumped 9.0 percent to their highest level since
December 2007. Single-family starts surged 12.8 percent in the
Midwest, but fell in the Northeast and West.
Housing starts for the volatile multi-family segment soared 13.9
percent to a 394,000-unit pace.
Building permits rose 3.6 percent to a 1.12 million-unit rate
last month. Permits for the construction of single-family homes
increased 1.5 percent last month, while multi-family building
permits advanced 8.0 percent.
(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)
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