by Bill McBride on 3/17/2015 08:30:00 AM
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions
Housing Starts:Click on graph for larger image.
Privately-owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 897,000. This is 17.0 percent below the revised January estimate of 1,081,000 and is 3.3 percent (±12.5%)* below the February 2014 rate of 928,000.
Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 593,000; this is 14.9 percent (±10.0%) below the revised January figure of 697,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 297,000.
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,092,000. This is 3.0 percent above the revised January rate of 1,060,000 and is 7.7 percent above the February 2014 estimate of 1,014,000.
Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 620,000; this is 6.2 percent (±0.9%) below the revised January figure of 661,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 445,000 in February.
The first graph shows single and multi-family housing starts for the last several years.
Multi-family starts (red, 2+ units) decreased sharply in February. Multi-family starts are down 10% year-over-year.
Single-family starts (blue) decreased in February and are up slightly year-over-year.
The second graph shows total and single unit starts since 1968.
The second graph shows the huge collapse following the housing bubble, and then - after moving sideways for a couple of years - housing is now recovering (but still historically low),
This was well below expectations of 1.040 million starts in February, although starts in January were revised up. Overall this was a weak report, although permits were decent (an indicator for March), and a large portion of the weakness was in the volatile multi-family sector. I'll have more later ...
Posted by Bill McBride on 3/17/2015 08:30:00 AM