UPDATED 10:09 AM EDT, May 16, 2013 | MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in April, one month after topping the 1 million mark for the first time since 2008. But most of the decline was in apartment construction, which tends to vary sharply from month to month.
And applications for new construction reached a five-year peak, evidence that the housing revival will be sustained.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of new homes rose in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000. The increase added to evidence of a sustained housing recovery at the start of the spring buying season.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that sales of new homes increased 1.5 percent. The gain brought the level higher than February's pace of 411,000, though below January's 445,000 — the fastest pace since July 2008.
New-home sales are still below the 700,000 pace considered healthy by most economists. But the pace has increased 18.5 percent from 352,000 a year ago.
BANGKOK (AP) — An increase in new U.S. home sales and strong corporate earnings across a range of industries lifted investment sentiment in Asia, where most stock markets rose Wednesday.
Luxury hangbag maker Coach, Lockheed Martin and DuPont reported results that were better than analysts expected. Netflix, which streams TV shows and movies over the Internet, announced profits that delighted investors. Meanwhile, the U.S. government reported that sales of new homes rose 1.5 percent in March, adding to evidence of a sustained housing recovery.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. homebuilders broke the 1 million mark in March for the first time since June 2008. The gain signals continued strength for the housing recovery at the start of the spring buying season.
The overall pace of homes started rose 7 percent from February to March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.04 million, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
Apartment construction, which tends to fluctuate sharply from month to month, led the surge: It jumped nearly 31 percent to an annual rate of 417,000, the fastest pace since January 2006.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new homes fell in February after climbing to the highest level in more than four years in January.
Sales of new homes dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000 in February, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. That is a decline of 4.6 percent from the January level of 431,000, which had been the strongest sales pace since September 2008.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders started more houses and apartments in February, while requesting permits for future construction at the fastest pace in 4 ½ years. The increases point to a housing recovery that is gaining strength.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders broke ground on homes last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000. That's up from 910,000 in January. And it's the second-fastest pace since June 2008, behind December pace of 982,000.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Busier factories and growing optimism among consumers could help the U.S. economy withstand the drag from government spending cuts and tax increases this year.
Manufacturing grew in February at the fastest pace in 20 months, according to a report Friday from the Institute for Supply Management. And a survey from the University of Michigan showed that consumer sentiment rose last month to its highest level since November.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending on U.S. construction projects fell in January by the largest amount in 18 months as home construction stalled and spending on government projects fell to the lowest level in more than six years.
The dip was viewed as a temporary setback with construction expected to keep moving higher this year.
Construction spending fell 2.1 percent in January compared with December, when spending had risen 1.1 percent. It was the biggest one-month decline since July 2011, the Commerce Department said Friday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in January from December to the highest level in more than 2 ½ years. The increase suggests sales of previously occupied homes will continue rising in the coming months.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales rose 4.5 percent last month to 105.9. That's the highest since April 2010, when a homebuyer's tax credit was about to expire.