Production of single-family homes edged upward in April as builders responded to improving conditions for new-home buyers, according to newly released figures by the U.S. Commerce Department. While overall starts fell 12.8 percent to a record-low seasonally adjusted annual pace of 458,000 units, the decline was confined to the multifamily sector, where production fell 46 percent to a 90,000-unit pace for the month, while single-family starts posted a 2.8 percent gain to 368,000 units.Single-family housing starts rose for a second consecutive month in April, posting a 2.8 percent gain to a 368,000-unit pace for the month. At the same time, issuance of single-family permits, which can be an indicator of future building activity, rose 3.6 percent to 373,000 units, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

On the multifamily side, starts fell 46 percent to an all-time low 90,000-unit pace, while permits declined nearly 20 percent to 121,000 units.

Regionally, combined single- and multifamily housing starts declined across every part of the country except the West in April, where a 42.5 percent gain offset a nearly equivalent decline in the previous month. Starts fell 30.6 percent in the Northeast, 21.4 percent in the Midwest and 21.1 percent in the South, again largely due to big declines in the more volatile multifamily sector, according to the NAHB.


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