While national mortgage records may continue to prove advantageous for consumers considering homeownership, the production of single-family homes showed a small decline during the month of March.
According to a joint report released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, privately-owned multifamily housing units saw considerable progress last month, however, single-family homes saw fewer building permits authorized and less starts. Reported figures show permit authorizations for the freestanding residential units were recorded at a rate of 595,000 in March, exhibiting a drop of about 0.5 percent from February totals which saw 598,000 authorizations. Additionally, single-family housing starts last month were observed at a rate of 619,000, marking a decrease of almost 5 percent from the preceding month, when 650,000 starts were seen.
Amid the recent declines, however, public property records show the number of single-family housing completions seen during March demonstrated a positive increase. Finalized builds were recorded at a reported rate of 593,000, ticking up nearly 3 percent from February figures, when 578,000 completions were noted.
Housing officials predict growth will resume soon
Although some consumers may have become concerned after hearing of last month's small drops in real estate numbers, many industry professionals are announcing their confidence in the probability of seeing gains in the near future. National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) chairman Rick Judson said that the recent figures act as an indication that housing demand is on the rise and production could soon see sizable increases.
"[The] report is a reflection of the solid demand that many areas are seeing for rental apartments as young people take that first step into the housing market, which is a very positive development," Judson said. "The numbers are also in keeping with our latest surveys that show single-family builders are experiencing some difficulties in keeping up with rising demand for new homes due to increasing construction costs and other factors."
NAHB chief economist David Crowe also offered his insight, reportedly labeling the current data as a "mixed bag," because of the rising multifamily housing figures and flagging single-family numbers. He said that the "slow, methodical march forward" of the housing market, which characterizes recovery, should continue to be seen in the coming months and provide notable increases in national housing.
"The three-month moving average for single-family starts remained unchanged at 628,000 units in March - which is right on pace with NAHB's forecast for a 25 percent gain in new-home production in 2013," Crowe said.
Upon reviewing the combined single- and multifamily housing production exhibited last month, NAHB reported three of the four regions of the U.S. noted gains. The Northeast was the only region which did not record improvement, instead posting a drop of about 6 percent.