Activity in the new residential construction sector, including single-family home, condominiums and townhouses, increased in February to the highest level reported since October 2008.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the February rate of new building permits rose to a lower than expected rate of 717,000 during the month. This is a 5.1 percent increase from the previous month and 34.3 percent above the rate seen in February 2011.
Meanwhile, the report indicated that the rate of housing starts during the month was a reported 698,000, which is a 1.1 percent decline from January and 34.7 percent above the February 2011 rate of 518,000.
Real estate data shows that this slight decline in new constructions from the previous month was led by a 9.9 percent drop of new single-family home construction
Despite improvements, a number of industry experts anticipated there to be a more significant gain in new home starts after a survey conducted by Bloomberg News predicted a 0.1 percent increase.