US housing starts fell in April but permits surged

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 16, 2013 at 8:38 am •  Published: May 16, 2013
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New-home sales rose 1.5 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000. That's still below the 700,000 pace considered healthy. But sales are 18.5 percent higher than a year ago.

Several major homebuilders have reported strong annual increases in orders for the first three months of the year. That includes the start of the spring home-selling season, the traditional peak period for sales.

Ryland Group Inc. said this week that orders in April jumped 59 percent from a year earlier. And over the first three months of this year. orders have jumped 54 percent.

Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to data from the homebuilders' group.