In the twelve-month period up to and including February housing starts in the USA increased by 9.8% vis à vis the adjusted January figures to 1.450m units. The decline recorded since September has thus come to a stop, according to figures published by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Housing starts nevertheless remain below the figures recorded in September (1.465m units). Compared to the same month of the previous year, housing starts actually declined by as much as 18.4%. The positive development in February was primarily the result of a 24.1% increase in housing starts of multi-family houses to 608,000 units. Housing starts of detached houses rose only slightly to 830,000 units.
Development of building approvals was similar to housing starts. Despite an increase of 13.8% to 1.524m units in the twelve-month period up to and including February, the number of building approvals was lower than the September figure (1.564m units). Compared to the same month of the previous year, the decrease amounts to 17.9%. Increases were recorded in February concerning approvals for detached houses (+7.6% to 777,000 units) and living units in multi-family houses (+24.3% to 700,000 units). A decline in the number of approvals, by contrast, was recorded for living units in two- to four-family houses (-13.0% to 47,000 units).