The US Department of Commerce has revealed that the initial number of houses being built in February rose by 9.8% to 1.45 million units. This is the highest level since September 2022 and higher than analysts’ expectations of 1.31 million units.
The number of housing starts for single-family homes also increased by 1.1% to 830,000 units. Meanwhile, the construction of multi-family homes, including apartments and condominiums, rose by 24.1% to 608,000 units. This is the highest level since April 2022.
In terms of housing permits, there was a 13.8% increase to 1.524 million units in February. The permits for single-family homes increased by 7.6% to 777,000 units, while permits for multi-family homes rose by 24.3% to 700,000 units.
The increase in housing starts and permits is seen as a positive sign for the US economy, as the housing sector is a major contributor to economic growth. The higher-than-expected figures could also provide a boost to the construction industry.
However, some analysts have cautioned that rising mortgage rates and a shortage of affordable housing could limit the sector’s growth in the coming months.