Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Housing Starts increased to 1.178 Million Annual Rate in February

by Bill McBride on 3/16/2016 08:39:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,178,000. This is 5.2 percent above the revised January estimate of 1,120,000 and is 30.9 percent above the February 2015 rate of 900,000.

Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 822,000; this is 7.2 percent above the revised January figure of 767,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 341,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,167,000. This is 3.1 percent below the revised January rate of 1,204,000, but is 6.3 percent above the February 2015 estimate of 1,098,000.

Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 731,000; this is 0.4 percent above the revised January figure of 728,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 401,000 in February.
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) increased in February.  Multi-family starts are up 19% year-over-year.

Single-family starts (blue) increased in February and are up 37% 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 February were above expectations - especially strong for single family starts - and starts for December and January were revised up.  A strong report.  I'll have more later ...