US housing starts plunge in February
The report showed that single-family house construction fell 14.9% to 593,000 units while construction of multifamily houses decreased 20.8% to an annual rate of 304,000 units in February. Across the country, new construction declined by a record 56.5% in the Northeast while the Midwest posted the largest decrease since January 2014 after falling by 37%. Housing starts declined in the South and West as well, which some economists took as a sign that the slowdown in housing starts was not wholly tied to the weather.
However, building permits in the US increased 3% to an annual rate of 1.09 million in February. Economists’ initial estimates called for a pace of 1.07 million.
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