Housing Starts and Building Permits Fell in March

According to the new residential construction statistics for March 2009 – U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in March and permits fell to a record low, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

Building Permits: Housing units authorized by building permits in March came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 513,000. This is 9.0% below the revised February rate of 564,000 and is 45% below the March 2008 estimate of 932,000.

Single-family authorizations in March were at a rate of 361,000; this is 7.4% below the revised February figure of 390,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 132,000 in March.

Housing Starts: Housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 510,000. This is 10.8% below the revised February estimate of 572,000.

Single-family housing starts in March were at a rate of 358,000; this is unchanged from the revised February figure of 358,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 116,000.

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