The annual pace of housing starts in the U.S. fell 16.5 percent from March to April but remains up 13.1 percent on a year-over-year basis. The pace of single-family home starts slipped 2.1 percent from March to April but remains up 20.8 percent year-over-year while the pace of construction for structures with five or more units slumped 37.8 percent in April and is down 2.5 percent year-over-year.
The number of structures with five or more units on which construction commenced fell nearly 40 percent to 19,100 last month having averaged 30,100 a month since 1963, peaking at 87,200 in May of 1973 and measuring 83,900 that March. Construction on 56,900 single-family homes started last month having averaged 87,400 a month since 1959, peaking at 170,400 in May of 2005 and measuring 133,400 that March.
Total housing starts which measured 76,700 in April have averaged 122,500 a month since 1959, hitting 227,300 in early 2006 and peaking at 249,400 in early 1972.
While starts slumped in April, permit activity to start construction jumped 14.3 percent, up 35.8 percent year-over-year with applications for single-family homes up 27.5 percent, up 54.5 percent for multi-family housing. Adjusted for seasonality, permit activity hit a 1,017,000 pace, up 14.3 percent from the month before and the highest since June 2008.
In the west, starts were up 43.2 percent year-over-year, up 40.0 percent for single-family homes, while permit activity was up 38.4 percent, up 25.7 percent for single-family homes.