Housing starts missed.
The Census said March starts climbed just 2.8%, or to a a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000, compared with a consensus expectation for a jump to 7%, or 970,000, from a reading of 1.9% prior, or 907,000.
Building permits also fell 2.4% more than expected, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 990,000. Analysts expected a decline of just 0.4%, to 1,010,000 after a 7.7% surge to 1,018,000 in February.
Reaction so far has been mixed. Here’s fixed income portfolio manager David Schawel:
Awfully disappointing permits number
— David Schawel (@DavidSchawel) April 16, 2014
But Trulia economist Jed Kolko was more upbeat
Even with slowdown in starts overall, multi-unit still 30% of all starts, up from ~20% during most of 1990’s and 2000’s.
— Jed Kolko (@JedKolko) April 16, 2014
We’re still well below even pre-boom levels: