Friday, January 17, 2014

Housing Starts at 999 Thousand Annual Rate in December

by Bill McBride on 1/17/2014 08:30:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999,000. This is 9.8 percent below the revised November estimate of 1,107,000, but is 1.6 percent above the December 2012 rate of 983,000.

Single-family housing starts in December were at a rate of 667,000; this is 7.0 percent below the revised November figure of 717,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 312,000.

An estimated 923,400 housing units were started in 2013. This is 18.3 percent above the 2012 figure of 780,600.
emphasis added

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 986,000. This is 3.0 percent below the revised November rate of 1,017,000, but is 4.6 percent above the December 2012 estimate of 943,000.

Single-family authorizations in December were at a rate of 610,000; this is 4.8 percent below the revised November figure of 641,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 350,000 in December.
Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing Starts Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows single and multi-family housing starts for the last several years.

Multi-family starts (red, 2+ units) decreased in December (Multi-family is volatile month-to-month).

Single-family starts (blue) also decreased in December following the sharp increase in November.

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

Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing Starts The second graph shows the huge collapse following the housing bubble, and that housing starts have been increasing after moving sideways for about two years and a half years.

This was slightly above expectations of 985 thousand starts in December.  I'll have more later ... but this was a solid year with starts up 18.3 percent from 2012.

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