Housing construction passed the mark of one million in March coming in at 1.036 million homes, up 7 percent. The increase was due to a 31 percent increase in apartment construction to a level of 417,000 units, the highest since January 2006. Single-family construction fell 4.8 percent from February The first quarter single-family average was up 6 percent from the fourth quarter 2012.
Housing permits were down 3.9 percent but from a high not seen since July 2008. The first quarter average was up 2.6 percent from the fourth quarter. Builders were stock piling permits in February and the inventory of unused permits decreased 9 percent in March. Single-family permits were unchanged so the change was due to a 10 percent drop in apartment permits is most likely because we are approaching the sustainable level of apartment construction.