Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Housing Starts increase in April

by Bill McBride on 5/18/2010 08:30:00 AM

Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing Starts Click on graph for larger image in new window.

Total housing starts were at 672 thousand (SAAR) in April, up 5.8% from the revised March rate, and up 41% from the all time record low in April 2009 of 477 thousand (the lowest level since the Census Bureau began tracking housing starts in 1959).

Single-family starts were at 593 thousand (SAAR) in April, up 10.2% from the revised February rate, and 65% above the record low in January 2009 (360 thousand).

Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing StartsThe second graph shows total and single unit starts since 1968. This shows the huge collapse following the housing bubble, and that housing starts are still very low.

Here is the Census Bureau report on housing Permits, Starts and Completions.

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 672,000. This is 5.8 percent (±13.0%)* above the revised March estimate of 635,000 and is 40.9 percent (±19 8%) above the revised April 2009 rate of 477,000.

Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 593,000; this is 10.2 percent (±10.7%)* above the revised March figure of 538,000.

Housing Completions:
Privately-owned housing completions in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 769,000. This is 19.2 percent (±13.8%) above the revised March estimate of 645,000, but is 8.7 percent (±12.8%)* below the revised April 2009 rate of 842,000.

Single-family housing completions in April were at a rate of 564,000; this is 14.6 percent (±13.1%) above the revised March figure of 492,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 606,000. This is 11.5 percent (±1.1%) below the revised March rate of 685,000, but is 15.9 percent (±1.3%) above the revised April 2009 estimate of 523,000.

Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 484,000; this is 10.7 percent (±1.1%) below the revised March figure of 542,000.

Note that permits fell sharply, suggesting a significant decline in housing starts next month.