Privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000, 30.2% below the revised March estimate of 1,276,000 and 29.7% below the April 2019 rate of 1,267,000, the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced Tuesday. Wall Street was expecting an annual pace of 900,000 due to the economic shutdowns related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 650,000, 25.4% below the revised March figure of 871,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 234,000, down 40.3% from March.
Housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,074,000, 20.8% below the revised March rate of 1,356,000 and 19.2% below the April 2019 rate of 1,330,000. The reading beat analyst expectations of a rate of 996,000.