clear
Monday May 4th, 2015 7:10PM

Home building up in March after frigid winter

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S home construction rose moderately in March as builders resumed work at the end of a frigid winter. But applications for building permits slid, clouding the outlook for future construction.

Builders started work on 946,000 homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in March, up 2.8 percent from 920,000 in February, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Construction of single-family homes rose 6 percent, more than offsetting a 3.1 percent drop in the construction of apartments, condominiums and town houses.

As the weather moderated, construction rose 30.7 percent in the Northeast and jumped 65.5 percent in the Midwest. But it fell 9.1 percent in the South and 4.5 percent in the West.

Applications for permits, a gauge of future activity, fell 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 990,000.

"The outcome is less dynamic than anticipated," Annalisa Piazza, an economist at Newedge Strategy, said in a research report.

Economists had expected housing starts to hit 970,000 last month. Piazza noted that housing construction in March was 5.9 percent less than a year earlier.

"It echoes several of the other reports we've seen of late which do show a spring snapback, but one not nearly as strong as once hoped," said Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at BTIG.

Many analysts have been expecting an improving economy to lift the housing market, which has been recovering the past two years. But housing has struggled to maintain momentum. Rising prices and higher mortgage rates have deterred some home buyers. Others have had trouble qualifying for mortgages.

Builders complain of a shortage of workers and lots to build on.

U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market rose modestly in April but remained at low levels for the third straight month, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index, which came out Tuesday.

The index, which measures confidence in the single-family home market, edged up to 47 in April from 46 in March., Readings below 50 mean builders view sales conditions as poor. The index had been above 50 from June through January.

Still, the March gain in single-family home construction is encouraging. Every single-family home built creates three jobs and generates $90,000 in tax revenue, according to the homebuilders' group.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 4 months ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 4 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 4 months ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
Gainesville man arrested in fatal Jackson Co. hit and run
Georgia State Troopers have the driver of a car involved in a fatal hit and run Monday in Jackson County in custody.
By Staff
6:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
Forsyth County man killed in weekend motorcycle wreck
A Forsyth County man died after a traffic accident on Hickory Hills Road Sunday afternoon.
4:05PM ( 3 hours ago )
NGMC-Braselton begins construction on obstetrics unit
Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Braselton began construction on a new expansion Monday, allowing the hospital to begin offering obstetric services to the community.
By AccessWDUN staff
3:28PM ( 3 hours ago )
Cleveland police move into new location
Cleveland Police Department is operating from its new office location at 133 W. Kytle St.
1:44PM ( 5 hours ago )
Deal signs $900 million transportation package into law
Gov. Nathan Deal has signed a new $900 million transportation bill into law, including changes to the state's gas taxes and new fees on electric cars and hotel visits.
12:06PM ( 7 hours ago )