There is some good news on the home construction front as the 12-month rolling total of starts grew 13 percent year-over-year in March to 1,143,000 starts. This is the largest number of starts in a one-year period since August 2007. However, the 12-month rolling total is still 21 percent below the 50-year average of 1,444,085 starts, Trulia reports.
A strong increase in single-family units was a big part of the overall growth. Over the past year, single-family housing starts increased 14.1 percent from a 12-month rolling total of 653,900 in March 2015 to 746,000 in March 2016. After reaching a 42-year high in 2015, multifamily starts for buildings with 5+ units continued to decrease due in large part to a surge in single-family starts.
March also showed promise for the residential construction sector in relation to employment, as it was the best month for jobs since November 2008. And since single-family starts use more workers per unit built than multifamily starts, the number of jobs per housing start increased to 2.4. While this number is already matching the 15-year average and is the largest number in almost a year, it is expected to increase even further as the share of multifamily starts continues to decrease and single-family starts increase during the summer months.
To view the full report and accompanying graphs, follow the link below.