Housing starts jumped 7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.036 million for March, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens in PDF) released today.
Market analysts had expected a slight 1.4% month-to-month increase. After a 7.3% dip in January and a 0.8% bump for February, these newest numbers tentatively put housing starts back on an upward trend.
On a regional level, the South and Midwest carried the nation's starts, up 10.9% and 9.6%, respectively. Housing starts in the West bumped up 2.7%, while Northeast numbers came in 5.8% below February's.
Housing completions for March hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 800,000, 11% above February's numbers. March building permits fell a seasonally adjusted 3.9% to an annual rate of 902,000 after a 4.6% rise in February. Analysts had expected a rate of 942,000.