Single-family housing starts fell 4.1% in February as construction activity declined for the third consecutive month.The U.S. Census Bureau reported that single-family starts fell from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.55 million in January to 1.49 million in February. But National Association of Home Builders economists are expecting an improvement in March due to the recent drop in mortgage rates and a high level of unused permits. For the first quarter, NAHB expects starts will total 1.54 million. The forecast for the second quarter is 1.45 million SF starts. In February, housing starts rebounded in the Northeast and Midwest after severe winter weather in January. However, starts in the South and West fell -- probably reflecting worst than average weather, according to NAHB economist Michael Carliner. Meanwhile, multifamily starts fell 4% from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 350,000 in January to 336,000 in February.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the mortgage industry

30-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the mortgage industry