Housing Starts Climb More Than Estimated as Permits Rise

Land and labor shortages, however, continue to constrain builders' ability

Image Credits: Dan Reynolds Photography / Getty.

U.S. homebuilding increased more than expected in April and activity in the prior month was stronger than initially thought, suggesting declining mortgage rates were starting to provide some support to the struggling housing market.

Land and labor shortages, however, continue to constrain builders’ ability to construct more lower priced houses. This segment has experienced an acute shortage of inventory, holding back home sales. Investment homebuilding has contracted for five straight quarters.

Housing starts rose 5.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.235 million units last month, driven by gains in the construction of both single- and multi-family housing units, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. Groundbreaking was also likely boosted by drier weather in the Midwest.

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