The housing market’s moderate recovery may be picking up intensity in the coming months, according to a recent report from Fitch Ratings, who reported that single-family and multifamily U.S. housing starts posted strong March numbers.
In March, single-family starts were up 28.7% year-over-year at 619,000, largely in line with expectations, said Fitch in a press release.
March’s total starts were 1.036 million, up 7% compared to February and increased 46.7% year-over-year. The multifamily component contributed largely to the total number of starts.
Just in 2013, total starts are up 36% so far, while single-family starts are 28.1% higher than this point in 2012.
Fitch notes that this spike in overall activity is encouraging to homebuilders, which gained market share last year and are poised to follow suit in 2013.
What’s more, ‘still-attractive home prices, low mortgage rates and a rise in nominal incomes are resulting in superior affordability and valuations,’ said Robert Curran, managing director and lead homebuilding analyst.
Even so, housing is still treading in unsteady waters for a number of reasons. Curran notes that demand will continue to be tempered by widespread negative equity, challenging qualification standards, shortages of lots and excess supply due to foreclosures in specific markets.