Following last month's second lowest housing starts number ever of 479,000, March came at 549K, on expectations of 520K. Incidentally last month's number was revised to 512K from 479K. This likely accounts for what many have attributed to a weather related plunge in starts. The biggest swing factor in the March number was in units started at 5 units or more, which came at 117 or about 15% higher than February's 102. On the other side of the starts number was the housing completions, which at 509K was the lowest number ever, even worse than January's 510. Of note is the completions number in one unit structures which came at what is probably a record low 374k. But since nobody cares about the actual final outcome, and merely about the first dig, Housing Permits came at 594K on expectations of 540K. Once again this number was rescued by multi-unit housing, as the structures with 5 units or more came in at 173k compared to 135k previously, and was the highest number in over a year. Anything to fudge the number.
Completions- new all time low.