Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Housing Starts decreased to 1.089 Million Annual Rate in March

by Bill McBride on 4/19/2016 08:39:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,089,000. This is 8.8 percent below the revised February estimate of 1,194,000, but is 14.2 percent above the March 2015 rate of 954,000.

Single-family housing starts in March were at a rate of 764,000; this is 9.2 percent below the revised February figure of 841,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 312,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,086,000. This is 7.7 percent below the revised February rate of 1,177,000, but is 4.6 percent above the March 2015 estimate of 1,038,000.

Single-family authorizations in March were at a rate of 727,000; this is 1.2 percent below the revised February figure of 736,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 324,000 in March.
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 March compared to February.  Multi-family starts are down 2% year-over-year.

Single-family starts (blue) decreased in March, but are up 23% 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 March were below expectations, however combined starts for January and February were revised up.  I'll have more later ...