Housing starts rise 8.2 percent in April

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a more optimistic housing starts report than in months past, with overall housing starts and permit activity up in April.

Housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.032 million units, up 8.2 percent from a revised March estimate of 954,000. The number still is 30.6 percent below the revised April 2007 rate of 1.487 million units.

Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 692,000; this is 1.7 percent below the March figure of 704,000.

Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 978,000, up 4.9 percent from the March rate and 34.3 percent below the April 2007 estimate of 1.489 million permits.

Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 646,000, up 4 percent from a March figure of 621,000.

The Census Bureau noted that new residential construction data for May will be released on June 17.