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Housing starts in April shoot up 30% over last year

The number of housing starts, or homes beginning construction, hit 717,000 in April, up 29.9% from year ago levels, the federal government said Wednesday.

The jump prompted housing analysts to suggest the housing sector is definitely on the mend.

Housing starts also rose 2.6% from March's revised figure of 699,000 starts and nearly 30% from the 552,000 starts recorded in the same month last year, the U.S. Census and Department of Housing and Urban Development said.

Single-family housing completions also rose 20.1% year-over-year, with the nation recording 651,000 home completions in April, compared to 542,000 a year earlier. Home completions also are up 10% from March's revised estimate of 592,000 completions.

Building permits, a reflection of future construction, also shot up 23.7% from last year, reaching 715,000 filings in April, compared to 578,000 last year. From March to April, the rate of filings fell 7%, with the nation recording 769,000 building permit filings in March.

Researchers with economics analysis firm Capital Economics said, "The 2.6% month-to-month rise in housing starts in April, alongside the big upward revisions to earlier data, supports our view that housing is in recovery mode. Driven in particular by the multi-family sector, we expect housing starts to rise further later this year."

kpanchuk@housingwire.com

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