Home builders in at least some markets concluded in March that there would be enough interest in new homes in the future to justify starting to build them, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
In its new residential construction report for March, the Commerce Department reported that 422,000 single-family houses were begun in March. This is a rate of 7.7% (plus or minus 15%) above the revised February figure of 392,000.
The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 117,000, Commerce added.
“Despite continued volatility, today’s numbers show welcome growth within the housing market,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “With 230,000 private-sector jobs added in March in industries from manufacturing to education to construction, there are positive signs for widespread growth throughout the economy and a stronger housing market in the coming year.”