Housing starts fell 22.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,216,000 in March, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in a report issued Thursday.

The numbers, which reflect the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic now gripping the world, are up 1.4 percent year-over-year. Building permits for new construction dropped by 6.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,353,000, while housing completions fell 6.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,227,000. Annually, the numbers are up 5 percent for permits and down 9 percent for completions, respectively.

Census Bureau

When analyzing single-family construction exclusively, the three metrics are also down — permits by 12 percent, starts by 17 percent and completions by 15 percent. While construction was initially expected to pick up strongly this spring, the prolonged coronavirus pandemic is putting a huge strain on the economy and housing market that will be reflected in months to come.

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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
Inman Connect is LIVE next week! Join us and thousands of your peers from wherever you are.Register Today×
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