New US home construction rebounds in February

Washington (AFP) –


Construction of new US housing rebounded in February to its highest level in four months, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

And construction started on single-family homes jumped to the highest level in nearly 10 years, as the tight housing sector showed signs of adding supply in a tight market.

During the unseasonably warm month of February, total housing starts rose three percent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.29 million units, its highest level since October.

The result was in line with analyst forecasts and 6.2 percent above the results recorded in the same month last year.

Meanwhile, posting a second consecutive month of gains, single-family units jumped 6.5 percent to 872,000 new units, a level not surpassed since October 2007.

However, the number of new housing permits dropped 6.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.21 million, suggesting the pace of construction may slow.

With analysts saying many young people may be preparing to leave their parents' homes in the current economic recovery, but still reticent to take on mortgages to buy a home, builders have favored the construction of multi-unit buildings to serve the rental market, leaving a tight supply of houses.