Unusually cold and wet weather in the South and West helped cool the national pace of new-home construction in February.
Housing starts slipped to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.855 million units in February, according to the Commerce Department. That pace was 4 percent below January’s revised rate of 1.932 million but still higher than the 2003 annual total of 1.848 million, the highest in 26 years.
“Builders continued to adjust their new production to a more sustainable level after the surge of late 2003,” said Bobby Rayburn, president of the National Association of Home Builders. “But builders remain very confident about the market, and we expect to maintain a very healthy pace through the coming months.”