Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Housing Starts increased to 1.135 Million Annual Rate in April, Highest since 2007

by Bill McBride on 5/19/2015 08:43:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,135,000. This is 20.2 percent above the revised March estimate of 944,000 and is 9.2 percent above the April 2014 rate of 1,039,000.

Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 733,000; this is 16.7 percent above the revised March figure of 628,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 389,000.
emphasis added

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,143,000. This is 10.1 percent above the revised March rate of 1,038,000 and is 6.4 percent above the April 2014 estimate ...

Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 666,000; this is 3.7 percent above the revised March figure of 642,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 444,000 in April.
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 in April.  Multi-family starts are up 9.2% year-over-year.

Single-family starts (blue) increased in April and are up about 14.7% 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 then - after moving sideways for a couple of years - housing is now recovering (but still historically low),

This was well above expectations of 1.029 million starts in April.  Overall this was a solid report with upward revisions to prior months. I'll have more later ...