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Wednesday, September 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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U.S. home construction climbed 5.7% in April

UPDATED: Thu., May 16, 2019, 4:26 p.m.

Construction workers build new housing in Salisbury, Mass., on Jan. 23, 2019. (Elise Amendola / AP)
Construction workers build new housing in Salisbury, Mass., on Jan. 23, 2019. (Elise Amendola / AP)
By Paul Wiseman Associated Press

WASHINGTON – U.S. home construction rose in April, led by an uptick in single-family homes.

The Commerce Department said Thursday homebuilding rose 5.7% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.24 million. But housing starts fell 2.5% from a year earlier, suggesting that would-be homebuyers are facing a shortage of new houses.

Construction of single-family homes increased 6.2% to 854,000 but was down 4.3% from a year earlier. Building of apartments and condominiums rose 2.3% to 359,000 and was up 1.4% from April 2018.

From March to April, housing starts surged 84.6% in the Northeast and 42% in the Midwest. Analysts at Contingent Macro Advisors noted that both regions “saw a rebound following harsh winter weather.” But construction fell 5.7% in the South and 5.5% in the West. The regional construction numbers can jump around from month to month.

Housing permits, an indicator of future activity, rose 0.6% to 1.3 million, the first uptick since December. Permits were down 5% from April 2018. Single-family home permits skidded 4.2% in April from March and were down 9.4% from a year earlier.

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