Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in March dropped 5.7% on a monthly basis, coming in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,039,000.

This is 2.9% above the March 2014 estimate of 1,010,000.

Single-family authorizations in March were at a rate of 636,000; this is 2.1% above the revised February figure of 623,000.

Homebuilder confidence rose in April, so they seem hopeful April will show a better performance than March.

Privately owned housing starts in March dropped 2.5% on a yearly basis but rose 2% from February, coming in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 926,000.

Focusing on the 2% annual rise, Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield said he sees positive signs in the report.

“New home construction is beginning to bloom as we move into spring," he said. "The rise in permits for single family home construction is especially hopefully for all the homeowners in the move-up market looking for a newer home. This will in turn give much needed supply to first time homebuyers.”

Single-family housing starts in March were at a rate of 618,000; this is 4.4% above the revised February figure of 592,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 287,000.

Completions are where everything dropped off. Privately owned housing completions in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 823,000. This is 3.9% below the revised February estimate of 856,000 and is 5.8% below the March 2014 rate of 874,000.

Single-family housing completions in March were at a rate of 602,000; this is 0.8% above the revised February rate of 597,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 211,000.

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