Even before the spring thaw, construction of new homes is on the rise. Reports for February housing starts were released this week and the numbers show a significant increase in multi-family homes from January, 2009.
According to data released by the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development, housing starts in February went up 22.2% from the month before. That’s about 583,000 new homes nationwide. Construction of residential buildings with five units or more experienced an 80 percent boost from January, but single-family homes only had a 1.1% increase. February building permits climbed to 547,000 (3% above January) with authorization for single-family home construction going up 11 percent. In the Midwest, housing starts grew over 58% in February from the previous month with a 12.8% jump for single-family dwellings.
Industry analysts are cautious not to label this up-tick in residential construction as a turning point for the new home market. Levels are still lower than they were last year at the same time. But the increase in activity is a positive sign for the upcoming spring and summer construction season.