Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Housing Starts at 946 Thousand Annual Rate in March

by Bill McBride on 4/16/2014 08:30:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000. This is 2.8 percent above the revised February estimate of 920,000, but is 5.9 percent below the March 2013 rate of 1,005,000.

Single-family housing starts in March were at a rate of 635,000; this is 6.0 percent above the revised February figure of 599,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 292,000.
emphasis added

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 990,000. This is 2.4 percent below the revised February rate of 1,014,000, but is 11.2 percent above the March 2013 estimate of 890,000.

Single-family authorizations in March were at a rate of 592,000; this is 0.5 percent above the revised February figure of 589,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 370,000 in March.
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 March (Multi-family is volatile month-to-month).

Single-family starts (blue) increased in March.

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 965 thousand starts in March.  Note: Starts for February were revised up to 920 thousand from 907 thousand. I'll have more later.

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