In February, home builders built more houses than they expected. This is a sign that the higher interest rates aren’t affecting the housing market as much.
The February increase in housing starts was 9.8 percent, to 1.45 million seasonally adjusted annual rates. After the depressing January figure, economists expected an increase of 0.1 percent to 1.31million.
Despite the surprisingly high February gain, starts are still well below the level they were before the Federal Reserve raised interest rates. Starts are down 18.4 percentage compared to a year ago.
Single-family home sales rose by 1.1 percent. Condo and apartment starts rose 24.1%
The National Association of Home Builders announced Wednesday that homebuilders’ confidence increased in March. This is the third consecutive increase in sentiment.