18 Mar 2009

US housing starts soar in February

7:51 am on 18 March 2009

New permits and building rebounded in the United States in February for the first time in 10 months.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that housing starts jumped 22.2% to an annual rate of 583,000 units last month from 477,000 units in January.

It was the biggest percentage rise since January 1990 and the first gain since April.

New building permits rose 3% to 547,000 units last month from 531,000 units in January.

Like the rise in starts, the increase was the first since April. Compared to a year ago, housing starts were down 47.3% in February and permits were off 44.2%.