Housing Starts (New Residential Construction)
The first of today’s three economic releases was February's Housing Starts data at 8:30 AM ET. The Commerce Department announced a 7.0% drop in new home groundbreakings last month. That was a larger decline than analysts were expecting, indicating the new home portion of the housing sector was weaker than many had thought. However, the decline is being attributed to a sizable slowdown in multi-family units and not single-family housing that is of more interest to mortgage rates. Single family starts rose 2.9%. In other words, this data has mixed results for mortgage rates, limiting its impact on today’s rates.