Housing starts climbed 2.8% in March to a 946,000 annualized rate after February’s 920,000 pace, which was higher than previously reported, Commerce Department reported April 16.
The median estimate of 78 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase to 970,000.
Work on single-family properties climbed 6% to a 635,000 rate in March from 599,000 the prior month. Construction of multifamily projects, such as condominiums and apartment buildings, fell 3.1% to an annual rate of 311,000.
Improving weather probably played a role in the gain in starts as construction surged 65.5% in the Midwest and 30.7% in the Northeast. Starts dropped 9.1% in the South, to the slowest pace since October, and 4.5% in the West to a six-month low.