Multi-Family Driving Recovery in Housing Starts

New residential construction data released by the U.S. Census reveals that the construction of traditional, single-family detached housing will retain its diminished role in the American economy for the time being.
May 20, 2014, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Bobak Ha'Eri

Neil Irwin provides analysis of new residential construction data from the U.S. Census. "The number of permits for new housing units soared 8 percent in April, the Census Bureau said on Friday, to an annualized 1.08 million. And the number of homes on which builders began construction rose a whopping 13 percent, to an annualized 1.07 million," reports Irwin.

Irwin's analysis describes a spring thaw—not the softening market some had feared. But the balance of Irwin's analysis focuses on one trend particularly evident in the new data "The entirety of the improvement is coming from more building of housing in structures with five or more units, most commonly rental apartment buildings."

"The number of single-family homes started is well below its level of late last year and still at February 2013 levels. Multifamily construction, meanwhile, has been soaring throughout the last five years."

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Published on Friday, May 16, 2014 in New York Times - The Upshot
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