Last Update: 08-Apr-14 20:01 ET
- Housing starts fell 0.2% in February to 907,000 from an upwardly revised 909,000 (from 880,000) in January. The Briefing.com consensus expected housing starts to increase to 915,000.
After two months where starts surpassed one million, construction levels in January and February returned to their April - October 2013 pace. There isn't much evidence of significant shocks from winter weather conditions.
- Looking at the details, construction levels in the Northeast fell 37.5% in February, but that came after a 46.3% positive shock in January. Starts in the Midwest increased 34.5%, but are still below 2013 trends. Construction in the South increased 7.3% and fell 5.5% in the West.
- Single-family construction levels increased a very modest 0.3% to 583,000. That is also in-line with trends from April - October 2013.
- Multifamily construction fell 1.2% to 324,000 in February from 328,000 in January.
- The number of units under construction increased to 719,000 in February from 717,000 in January. The slight gain will put upward pressure on GDP growth.
- So far, there is nothing in the data that suggests a post-winter surge in home construction will take place any time soon.