Macro Flash Report



Overall, the housing sector was mixed in March, however, looking forward the signal of consumer resilience and strong demand for housing remains even though the narrative around interest rates has dramatically shifted in the hawkish direction.

Housing Starts & Building Permits

New & Existing Home Sales


Both Housing Starts and Building Permits for March underperformed against market expectations.

Housing Starts plunged -14.7% to an annualized rate of 1321k, missing the anticipated decrease to 1485k from February’s upwardly revised 1549k. This drop is the steepest decline since April 2020 and is at the lowest level since August 2023.

Building Permits slightly improved in their final March figures, upwardly revising from the preliminary release of a -4.3% drop to a smaller -3.7% fall translating to an annualized rate of 1458k. However, this was still well below the expected decline to 1510k from the previous month’s 1518k. This marks the lowest point since September 2023.

For March, New Home Sales surged by 8.8% to an annualized rate of 693k, rebounding sharply from February’s downwardly revised -5.1% decrease to 637k sales. This exceeded forecasts of 668k and hit the highest level in six months. Conversely, Existing Home Sales declined by -4.3% to an annualized rate of 4.19m, retreating from February’s 9.5% gain and slightly below market expectations of 4.20m.

Since late March, the MBA 30-Year Mortgage Rate has consistently increased, reaching a peak of 7.13% for the week ending April 12th, its highest level since early December. Despite these climbing higher rates, mortgage application activity has shown an uptick. The MBA Mortgage Applications rose by 3.3% in that same week, marking a notable rebound after four weeks of stagnant applications.