New residential construction was stronger than expected in February, according to the Commerce Department.
On Wednesday, the National Association of Homebuilders said in a monthly report that its members’ confidence in the housing market was the strongest in 12 years.
“Builders are buoyed by President Trump’s actions on regulatory reform, particularly his recent executive order to rescind or revise the waters of the U.S. rule that impacts permitting,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald.
Housing starts rose 3% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.288 million, while building permits fell 6.2% a rate of 1.213 million.
Economists had forecast that starts rose 1.4% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.264 million, according to Bloomberg. They had estimated that building permits dropped 1.9% at a rate of 1.268 million.
Housing-market data like these tend to be volatile and subject to revisions on a month-to-month basis.