Housing starts collapse in February

Housing starts collapsed in February while building permits increased more than expected.

In February, housing starts fell 17% to an annualized pace of 987,000, widely missing expectations.

Building permits increased 3% to a pace of 1.092 million, topping estimates.

Expectations were for housing starts to fall 2.4% from January to an annualized rate of 1.04 million homes.

Building permits, in contrast, were expected to rise 0.5% to an annualized pace of 1.065 million.

January’s numbers were revised higher, however, with housing starts rising to a pace of 1.081 million, up from a previously reported pace of 1.065 million and permits were revised up to a pace of 1.06 million from a previously reported 1.053 million.

On Twitter following the report, Bloomberg economist Carl Riccadonna said that the hugely disappointing starts number should be ignored.

 

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