Affordability Issues Mean Fewer Single-Family Permits in March

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has released new findings suggesting the single-family housing market continued to show signs of softening in March.

Due to strong multifamily production, overall housing starts increased 0.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.79 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau,” a NAHB press release says.

Overall permits increased 0.4% to a 1.87 million unit annualized rate in March. Single-family permits decreased 4.8% to a 1.15 million unit rate. Multifamily permits increased 10.0% to an annualized 726,000 pace.

Related: Single-Family Housing Market on the Decline; MDUs on the Rise

Combined single-family and multifamily starts are 17.3% higher in the Northeast, 6.6% higher in the Midwest, 11.2% higher in the South, and 7.5% higher in the West, NAHB reports.

“The March reading of 1.79 million starts is the number of housing units builders would begin if development kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts decreased 1.7% to a 1.20 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. The multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, increased 4.6% to an annualized 593,000 pace.”

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“Higher mortgage interest rates and rising construction costs are pricing buyers out of the market, and these higher costs are particularly hurting entry-level and first-time buyers,” said Jerry Konter, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Savannah, Ga.

“Policymakers must address building supply chain disruptions to help builders bring down construction costs and increase production to meet market demand.”

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