Housing starts for February came in at a healthy pace for both single and multifamily units. Single family housing starts in February ran at a 618 thousand annual pace (SAAR) while multifamily starts came in at 299 thousand. This represents a continuation of the solid growth trajectory in single family starts that began in earnest in late 2011 and carried through 2012. Multifamily starts tend to be more volatile but have trended upward since hitting bottom in late 2009 and have outpaced single family production in the housing market recovery.
Issuance of new building permits is on track to sustain the current levels of production and we expect going forward that the pace of single family production will accelerate approaching 1 million single family starts by the end of 2014. We expect multifamily starts to continue to increase but at a slower pace than the 200+ percent growth rate in the fourth quarter as starts move steadily toward the annual pace of 350 thousand that we consider sustainable.