Apartment projects pushed housing
construction up 7 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.04
million units, the highest level since June 2008, according to a report today
from the U.S. Department of Commerce, MarketWatch
reported. Single-family construction fell. The data pointed to
an ongoing rebound in activity -- starts in March were up 47 period from the
same period last year, the largest year-over-year growth since 1992. The
Commerce Department revised February's starts rate up to 968,000 units. Despite
construction gains, starts remain below a bubble peak of almost 2.3 million in
2006. Starts for buildings with at least five units rose to a rate of 392,000
in March, the highest level since January 2006, up 27 percent from February.
Meanwhile, starts for single-family homes fell 5 percent to a rate of 619,000.
The government also reported that building permits, a sign of future demand,
fell 3.9 percent in March to a rate of 902,000.