March 17, 2009

Housing starts rose in February

Housing market indicators rose in February with gains in housing starts and permits issued, the U.S. Commerce Department said Tuesday.

Project completions rose slightly, the department said in a report.

Private housing starts climbed 22.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 583,000, above the revised January estimate of 477,000, the department reported. Last month, housing starts fell 16.8 percent.

Single-family housing starts rose 1.1 percent to an annual rate of 357,000, while multi-unit starts rose to an annual rate of 212,000.

Building permits, which point to future construction activity, rose 3 percent to an annual rate of 547,000. While a gain on the month, the annual rate is 44.2 percent below permits issued in February 2007.

Housing completions were up 2.3 percent to an annual rate of 785,000, a figure still far from the 1,251,000 completions of February 2007, the department said.