US home building slides 3.7 per cent in April - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Mostly Cloudy
-2.6°C

US home building slides 3.7 per cent in April

FILE- In this Feb. 26, 2018, file photo, work continues on a new development in Fair Lawn, N.J. On Tuesday, May 15, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo releases its May index of builder sentiment. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
May 16, 2018 - 7:21 AM

WASHINGTON - U.S. builders broke ground on fewer apartment buildings last month, pushing overall home construction down 3.7 per cent from March.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.29 million in April, lowest since December. Apartment construction tumbled 12.6 per cent to 374,000. Construction of single-family homes blipped up 0.1 per cent to 894,000.

Still, housing starts are up 10.5 per cent from April 2017 on a 7.2 per cent increase in single-family homes, and a 19.1 per cent surge in apartments.

Home construction has grown steadily since the housing crash hit bottom in 2012. The pace of homebuilding is still below its long-run average of about 1.5 million a year, which has led to a shortage of homes on the market. Home builders are struggling with higher prices for lumber and other building materials and a shortage of skilled labourers.

A healthy job market is giving Americans the confidence to shop for houses. Millennials are increasingly moving out on their own to buy their own homes

Demand for housing is strong despite an uptick in mortgage rates: The rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate home loan is 4.55 per cent, up from 4.05 per cent a year ago.

"We expect housing starts to continue to gain ground through 2018, supported by positive fundamentals such as low unemployment and healthy wage increases, which are expected to offset higher mortgage rates," Leslie Preston, senior economist at TD Economics, wrote in a research note. "At the same time, tight inventories and rising prices will continue to support homebuilding."

In April, housing starts fell 16.3 per cent in the Midwest, 12 per cent in the West and 8.1 per cent in the Northeast. They rose 6.4 per cent in the South.

Building permits, an indicator of future construction, fell 1.8 per cent in April to a seasonally adjusted 1.35 million.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

  • Popular kamloops News
  • Comments
  • Woman locked in Vernon cemetery turns to social media to get out
    VERNON - While cemeteries can usually sombre places for quiet relaxation, they're certainly not somewhere you'd want to spend a night. Unfortunately for Melanie Mae, that's a prospect
  • Kamloops police seeking child and guardian
    KAMLOOPS - A boy and his aunt have not checked in for two days, and now RCMP are requesting the aunt make contact. Kamloops RCMP received a report to check the well being of a six-year-old b
  • That flu you have may not be the flu
    PENTICTON - So, you went to the trouble to get a flu shot this year, but you ended up spending a week on the couch with body aches, chills, a cough, sore throat and congestion anyway? Cheer
  • South Okanagan man gets letter from prisoner who shot him and left him for dead
    PENTICTON - When Ronald Teneycke one of the South Okanagan's most notorius prolific offenders, was declared a dangerous offender after months of court proceedings last March,Teneycke's las
  • One man dead after shooting in Cache Creek
    CACHE CREEK - RCMP are investigating a shooting in a Cache Creek home that has left a man dead. Police responded to a 911 call at a home in the 1000 block of Collins Road in Cache Creek at a
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile