MBS MID-DAY: 3/20/2012

* Starts -1.1 pct vs Jan +3.7 pct
* Annual rate of 698k vs consensus 700k
*permits +5.1 pct vs +1.6 pct Jan
* permits 717k annual rate vs 690k consensus
* single family starts -9.9 pct, multi-fam +21.1 pct
* permits highest since 10/2008
* Note wide margins of error in some of the statistics below

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential
construction statistics for February 2012:

Building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 717,000. This is
5.1 percent (±1.2%) above the revised January rate of 682,000 and is 34.3 percent (±3.1%) above the February 2011 estimate of
534,000.
Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 472,000; this is 4.9 percent (±1.2%) above the revised January figure of
450,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 219,000 in February.

Housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 698,000. This is 1.1 percent (±15.9%)* below
the revised January estimate of 706,000, but is 34.7 percent (±16.7%) above the February 2011 rate of 518,000.
Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 457,000; this is 9.9 percent (±11.4%)* below the revised January figure of
507,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 233,000.

Housing completions in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 568,000. This is 6.2 percent (±15.8%)*
above the revised January estimate of 535,000, but is 7.0 percent (±14.1%)* below the February 2011 rate of 611,000.
Single-family housing completions in February were at a rate of 421,000; this is 8.2 percent (±18.9%)* above the revised January rate
of 389,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 144,000.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/mortgage_rates/blog/251585.aspx

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