Housing Starts, Gas Prices

April 19, 2016

Tuesday – April 19

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported on Tuesday that Housing Starts declined 8.8% in March from February to an annual rate of 1.089 million units, below the 1.170 million expected. In addition, single family Housing Starts fell 9.2% in March from February, while multi-family dwellings fell 8.5%.

Despite the decline, Housing Starts were 14.2% higher compared to a year ago. The Northeast was the only region in which starts rose in March. Rounding out the report it showed that Building Permits, a sign of future construction, declined by 7.7%, hitting a 12-month low of 1.09 million units.

Gas prices across the nation continue to edge higher now that the spring and summer driving seasons are upon us. With increased demand for gasoline and the switch to more costy refining for gasoline in the spring and summer, prices tend to rise at this time of the year. The national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline is $2.11, up from $1.98 a month ago and up $0.06 in the past week. Gas prices are up 45 out of the past 55 days for a total of 41 cents per gallon. Despite the recent increases, pump prices are down 33 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year.