Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Housing Starts declined to 1.149 Million Annual Rate in December

by Bill McBride on 1/20/2016 08:30:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,149,000. This is 2.5 percent below the revised November estimate of 1,179,000, but is 6.4 percent above the December 2014 rate of 1,080,000.

Single-family housing starts in December were at a rate of 768,000; this is 3.3 percent below the revised November figure of 794,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 365,000.

An estimated 1,111,200 housing units were started in 2015. This is 10.8 percent above the 2014 figure of 1,003,300.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,232,000. This is 3.9 percent below the revised November rate of 1,282,000, but is 14.4 percent above the December 2014 estimate of 1,077,000.

Single-family authorizations in December were at a rate of 740,000; this is 1.8 percent above the revised November figure of 727,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 455,000 in December.
emphasis added
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 December.  Multi-family starts are up 6% year-over-year.

Single-family starts (blue) decreased in December and are up 7% year-over-year.



Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing Starts 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),

Total housing starts in December were below expectations, however starts for October and November were revised up. And starts were up 10.8% in 2015 compared to 2014.  I'll have more later ...