Residential housing starts dropped 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,599,000 in February, according to a new sales report released on Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Even though this marks the second month of drops, numbers are still up 39.2 percent year-over-year. Building permits for new construction dropped by 5.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,464,000, while housing completions fell 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,316,000.
When analyzing single-family construction exclusively, all three metrics are up — permits by 1.7 percent, starts by 6.7 percent and completions by 14.1 percent. While the current coronavirus outbreak and surrounding economic uncertainty make it difficult to predict numbers in the coming months and year, construction was initially expected to pick up strongly in the spring of this year.