A tax credit from the government may have helped get construction equipment on the move in April, as housing starts increased during the month.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, privately owned housing starts were up 5.8 percent compared to numbers seen in March. On a year-to-year basis, the 672,000 starts in April were up 40.9 percent.
Starts on single-family homes were up 10.2 percent over March levels and totaled 593,000 in April. This may have been the result of the government's tax credit for first-time and repeat homebuyers, which offered incentives for purchasing a home.
However, the credit ended on April 30, which has left some analysts wondering if there would be a reduction in consumers' interest in purchasing a home. The National Association of Realtors noted recently that demand may be sustained through improvements in the country's unemployment rate, which currently stands at 9.9 percent.
While housing starts were up, building permits for single-family homes dropped 10.7 percent from March to April. Permits for all privately owned housing construction declined 11.5 percent between the two months.