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February Housing Starts Show Rebound, Biggest Gain in 9 Months

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Market Data + Trends

February Housing Starts Show Rebound, Biggest Gain in 9 Months

Housing starts and permits jumped in February, with single-family starts hitting 11.6%

March 19, 2024
Magnifying glass over house with arrows to indicate increase in starts and permits
Image: Kenstocker /stock.adobe.com

The latest economic data suggest housing market activity may be starting to shift and that more housing options are becoming available for homebuyers. During February, new housing starts rose by 10.7% month over month to 1.521 million units, seasonally adjusted, according to a March 19 report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

That increase marks the highest gain in nine months, Business Insider reports, and is evidence of a significant reversal of the 12.3% month-over-month decline seen in January. In February, housing starts also came in higher than a year ago, with single-family starts jumping 11.6%. Building permits for privately owned housing units increased, too, rising by 1.9% month over month to reach 1.518 million units, beating the 0.5% gain that had been forecast. February's bump up in building permits marks the biggest increase since August 2023.

"The composition was strong, as four-fifths of the February increase came from the single-family starts component (+11.6%), while the more volatile multi-family starts component also increased (+8.3%)," Goldman Sachs strategists wrote in a note Tuesday.

Housing completions, too, came in at 1.729 million, 19.7% higher than the revised January estimate and 9.6% higher versus one year ago.

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