Multifamily Market Drives New Home Construction Up in April

Washington, D.C.–Giving hope to the industry, new home construction rose 8.2 percent last month–due mostly to multifamily housing, the Commerce Department said Friday.Single-family home groundbreakings fell to a 17-year low–dropping from seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 704,000 to 692,000, the New York Times said.Housing starts increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.032 million. Multifamily unit construction skyrocketed 36 percent after a 35 percent decline in March. “The bump in starts owes entirely to multifamily dwellings,” Michael T. Darda of MKM Partners told the Times. Darda also said that the single-family results show that builders are removing supply from the market, which will eventually help correct the housing slump.Year-to-year comparisons painted a darker picture of the housing decline. Overall starts fell 30.6 percent compared to April 2007; permits plummeted 34.3 percent.