Housing Starts Fell 22.3% in March

Washington, DC, April 16, 2020-Privately‐owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,216,000, 22.3% below the revised February estimate of 1,564,000 but 1.4% above the March 2019 rate of 1,199,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Single‐family housing starts in March were at a rate of 856,000; this is 17.5% below the revised February figure of 1,037,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 347,000.

Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,353,000. This is 6.8% below the revised February rate of 1,452,000, but is 5.0% above the March 2019 rate of 1,288,000. Single‐family authorizations in March were at a rate of 884,000; this is 12.0% below the revised February figure of 1,005,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 423,000 in March. 

Privately‐owned housing completions in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,227,000. This is 6.1% below the revised February estimate of 1,307,000 and is 9.0% below the March 2019 rate of 1,348,000. Single‐family housing completions in March were at a rate of 863,000; this is 15.0% below the revised February rate of 1,015,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 357,000.