The rate of privately owned housing starts in April dropped 16.1 percent from a year ago to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.53 million, according to a joint announcement from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Despite the decline, April’s rate — which projects that month’s total over a 12-month period and adjusts for seasonal fluctuations in activity — was up approximately 2.5 percent from March, according to statistics.

The agencies reported that the rate of single-family housing starts at 1.23 million was up approximately 1.6 percent from March.

Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.43 million in April, down nearly 9 percent from March and 28 percent lower than the April 2006 level.

Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 1.06 million, 6 percent below March.

As for completions, the seasonally adjusted annual rate for privately owned units sank to 1.52 million last month, down 5.8 percent from March and 26 percent below the year-ago level.

Single-family housing completions in April were at a rate of 1.26 million, down 3.4 percent from March.

Month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics can show irregular movements, the agencies noted. It may take four months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, five months for total starts, and six months for total completions. Statistics are estimated from sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability, as well as nonsampling error, including bias and variance from response, nonreporting and undercoverage.

On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates of total building permits, housing starts and housing completions are revised about 1 percent, according to the report.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription