The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s New Residential Construction report for March shows permits to build privately-owned housing units rose 4.5 percent in March. Permits were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 747,000, which is 30.1 percent above last March’s estimate. But though permits were up for the month, housing starts fell 5.8 percent from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000. Still, new residential construction is 10.3 percent above last year’s level and single-family housing starts were down just 0.2 percent for the month, which indicates the decline was due largely to a drop in multifamily construction. Also in the report, housing completions rose 4.2 percent in March. More here.