New construction beginning at a quicker pace despite decline in permits

By Jann Swanson | Mortgage News Daily

Housing permits were down in February, wiping out the gains posted in January, while housing starts also reversed course, posting the year’s first gains. All three of the housing measures in the residential construction report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development posted increases over the previous February.

Thursday’s construction report says privately owned permits for residential construction dropped by 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,213,000 compared to a revised rate of 1,293,000 in January. The January revision was from an originally reported rate of 1,285,000. February’s number was 4.4 percent higher than the rate of permitting a year earlier, estimated at 1,162,000 units.

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