Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Housing Starts decline slightly in July

by Bill McBride on 8/16/2011 08:30:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 604 000 This is 1.5 percent (±10 7%)* below the revised June estimate of 613,000, but is 9.8 percent (±10.8%)* above the July 2010 rate of 550,000.

Single-family housing starts in July were at a rate of 425,000; this is 4.9 percent (±8.9%)* below the revised June figure of 447,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 170,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 597,000. This is 3.2 percent (±1.2%) below the revised June rate of 617,000, but is 3.8 percent (±2.2%) above the July 2010 estimate of 575,000.

Single-family authorizations in July were at a rate of 404,000; this is 0.5 percent (±0.9%)* above the revised June figure of 402,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 171,000 in July.
Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing Starts Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

Total housing starts were at 604 thousand (SAAR) in July, down 1.5% from the revised June rate of 613 thousand.

Single-family starts declined 4.9% to 425 thousand in July.

The second graph shows total and single unit starts since 1968.

Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing Starts This shows the huge collapse following the housing bubble, and that housing starts have been mostly moving sideways for over two years - with slight ups and downs due to the home buyer tax credit.

This was slightly above expectations of 600 thousand starts in July. Multi-family starts are increasing in 2011 - although from a very low level.

I'll have more on housing starts later.