WASHINGTON — Severe winter weather in much of the country pushed home construction down a sharp 10.3 per cent in February while applications for new construction fell by 10.8 per cent.
The decline pushed home and apartment construction down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.42 million units last month, compared to a rate of 1.58 million units in January when housing starts had fallen 5.1 per cent, the Commerce Department reported recently.
Even with the two months of declines, economists are optimistic that housing will bounce back in the coming months, helped by ultra-low mortgage rates and rising demand by Americans who have been cooped up for the past year as the coronavirus pandemic rages.
Now, many homeowners are looking to move to bigger homes that will give them more space to work from home.
The drop in applications for new building permits, considered a good indication of future activity, was the first decline since October and left applications at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.68 million units.