In February, housing starts reached a 1.29 million-unit, annualized pace; that’s up 3% following an upward revision for the month of January. Single-family starts got an extra boost during the month in response to unseasonably warm winter weather, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. Multifamily starts essentially held flat for the month, down only 16,000. A trade-off between a steep drop in the Midwest and a pop in the West accounted for the slight change in multifamily starts last month compared to January. Overbuilding in the luxury end of the apartment market has forced discounting in some markets; what is really needed is more affordable apartments.
Single-family starts expanded except for the South, which slowed slightly.