U.S. starts, permits rise in February

The U.S. Commerce Department reported this week the country’s housing starts in February shot up by 9.8 percent to an annualized rate of 1.45 million units. In a Reuters poll, analysts projected a rate of 1.31 million units. In the single-family segment, starts edged up 1.1 percent to a rate of 830,000 units.

January’s preliminary estimate of 841,000 units was revised downward to a rate of 821,000 units. Building permits for the month soared by 13.8 percent to a rate of 1.524 million units, with single-family permits up 7.6 percent to a rate of 777,000 units