Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Housing Starts decreased to 1.065 Million Annual Rate in January

by Bill McBride on 2/18/2015 08:39:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,065,000. This is 2.0 percent below the revised December estimate of 1,087,000, but is 18.7 percent above the January 2014 rate of 897,000.

Single-family housing starts in January were at a rate of 678,000; this is 6.7 percent below the revised December figure of 727,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 381,000.
emphasis added

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,053,000. This is 0.7 percent below the revised December rate of 1,060,000, but is 8.1 percent above the January 2014 estimate of 974,000.

Single-family authorizations in January were at a rate of 654,000; this is 3.1 percent (±0.9%) below the revised December figure of 675,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 372,000 in January.
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) increased slightly in January.  Multi-family starts are up 23% year-over-year.

Single-family starts (blue) decreased slightly in January and are up 16% year-over-year.

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 - after moving sideways for about two years and a half years - housing is now recovering (but still historically low),

This was close to expectations of 1.070 million starts in January, although starts in November and December were revised down.  Overall this was a decent report with housing starts up almost 19% year-over-year (starts were weak in early 2014).  I'll have more later ...