Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Housing Starts at 907 Thousand Annual Rate in February

by Bill McBride on 3/18/2014 08:30:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 907,000. This is 0.2 percent below the revised January estimate of 909,000 and is 6.4 percent below the February 2013 rate of 969,000.

Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 583,000; this is 0.3 percent above the revised January figure of 581,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 312,000.
emphasis added

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,018,000. This is 7.7 percent above the revised January rate of 945,000 and is 6.9 percent above the February 2013 estimate of 952,000.

Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 588,000; this is 1.8 percent below the revised January figure of 599,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 407,000 in February.
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 slightly in February (Multi-family is volatile month-to-month).

Single-family starts (blue) increased slightly in February.

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 below expectations of 915 thousand starts in February.  Note: Starts for January were revised up to 907 thousand from 880 thousand. I'll have more later.

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