Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Housing Starts at 708 thousand in May, Single Family starts increase to 516 thousand

by Bill McBride on 6/19/2012 08:30:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000. This is 4.8 percent below the revised April estimate of 744,000, but is 28.5 percent above the May 2011 rate of 551,000.

Single-family housing starts in May were at a rate of 516,000; this is 3.2 percent above the revised April figure of 500,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 179,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 780,000. This is 7.9 percent above the revised April rate of 723,000 and is 25.0 percent above the May 2011 estimate of 624,000.

Single-family authorizations in May were at a rate of 494,000; this is 4.0 percent above the revised April figure of 475,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 266,000 in May.
Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing Starts Click on graph for larger image.

Total housing starts were at 708 thousand (SAAR) in May, down 4.8% from the revised April rate of 744 thousand (SAAR). Note that April was revised up from 717 thousand. March was revised up too.  

Single-family starts increased 3.2% to 516 thousand in May. April was revised up to 500 thousand from 492 thousand.

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 total housing starts have been increasing lately after moving sideways for about two years and a half years.

Total starts are up 55% from the bottom start rate, and single family starts are up 41% from the low.

This was below expectations of 720 thousand starts in May, but the decline was because of the volatile multi-family sector. Single family starts were up, and building permits were up sharply. And previous months were revised up. This is a fairly strong report.

All Housing Investment and Construction Graphs

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