Economic news

US house building drops, mainly due to multi-family homes

House building in the US dropped lower than forecasted last month, as growth in single-family housing construction was marred by a fall in the number of multi-family units.

Housing starts went down by 7% to a yearly rate seasonally adjusted – 1.236 mln units, today’s data by the Commerce Department showed.

January figures were a bit corrected up to a 1.329 mln units rate from 1.326 mln given before that. Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted housing starts to drop to a rate of 1.290 mln units in February. Future house building permits declined by 5.7% to 1.298 mln units last month.

US financial markets largely paid no attention to the data. And though the drop in house building of February was caused by the volatile multi-family homes, the overall housing market seems to be decelerating. Both new and old homes are sold less in the past months as their lacking quantities lead to rise in prices, preventing certain first-time buyers from purchase. House prices jumped by more than 6% in the last month of 2017.

As for mortgage rates – they’ve grown as well, as the 30-year fixed rate mean figure stands around 4.44%, rather close to the record of last 4 years – 4.46%, according to Freddie Mac company. However, the housing market is kept up by a strong jobs market.

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