We didn’t get the March rebound in housing starts we were hoping for.
The pace of starts climbed just 2.0% to an annualized rate of 926,000 units. This was well below the 1.04 million units expected.
The pace of building permits dropped 5.7%. to 1.039 million units, missing expectations for 1.081 million units.
“All told, the weak housing starts report adds to the current narrative of weak domestic growth momentum in Q1 as the recovery continues to navigate against the trifectra of headwinds (harsh winter, strong dollar and port disruptions),” TD Securities Millan Mulraine said.
“These weak-looking data come just as homebuilder sentiment has revived, amid rising mortgage applications and strong new home sales numbers, so we are inclined to view the lingering softness as a continued weather hit,” Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson said. “That view will be much harder to sustain if the April numbers aren’t a good deal better, but we are optimistic.”