U.S. housing starts rise to 549,000 rate in March
U.S. housing starts rise to 549,000 rate in March (by Jeffry Bartash)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The start of construction on new U.S. homes rose 7.2% in March to an annual rate of 549,000, while permits rose 11.2%, the government reported Tuesday. Housing starts in February were revised up to 512,000 from an original reading of 479,000, according to Commerce Department data. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected housing starts in March to climb to an annual rate of 520,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Permits for new construction, viewed as a gauge of future demand, increased to an annual rate of 594,000 from February's upwardly revised level of 534,000. Permits for single-family homes, which account for three-quarters of the housing market, rose 5.7% to an annual rate of 405,000 last month.