By Xavier Fontdegloria


Construction of new homes in the U.S. decreased in April for the second straight month, driven by a decline in single-family units, data from the U.S. Commerce Department showed Wednesday. Here are the main takeaways from the report:

--Housing starts, a measure of U.S. homebuilding, fell 0.2% in April on month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.724 million.

--Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected housing starts to fall 2.4%.

--Housing starts are 14.6% above the same month a year earlier.

--In March, housing starts were downwardly revised to 1.728 million from an earlier estimate of 1.793 million.

--Monthly housing starts data are volatile, and April's data came with a margin of error of 8.7 percentage points.

--Residential permits, which can be a bellwether for future home construction, decreased 3.2% in April on month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.819 million.

--Housing demand is robust amid low inventories, but sentiment is deteriorating due to material shortages, high costs and rising mortgage rates. An indicator compiled by the National Association of Home Builders released Tuesday showed that confidence in the single-family housing market fell sharply in May to the lowest level in nearly two years.


Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 18, 2022 08:56 ET (12:56 GMT)

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