US Housing Starts, Building Permits Stall as Mortgage Rates Bite

US new-home home construction slipped in April amid ongoing supply-side challenges and the steepest climb in mortgage rates in decades.

Residential starts decreased 0.2% last month to a 1.72 million annualized rate after a downwardly revised 1.73 million pace in the prior month, according to government data released Wednesday.

The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 1.76 million pace.
Applications to build, a proxy for future construction, fell 3.2% to an annualized 1.82 million units.

Builders are contending with high material prices amid decades-high inflation, along with continued difficulty securing lots and labor. That, combined with concerns that the steep surge in borrowing costs will squeeze would-be buyers out of the market, pushed a measure of homebuilder sentiment this month to the lowest level since June 2020. 
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