Thursday, January 19, 2017

Housing Starts increased to 1.226 Million Annual Rate in December

by Bill McBride on 1/19/2017 08:37:00 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 1,226,000. This is 11.3 percent above the revised November rate of 1,102,000 and is 5.7 percent above the December 2015 rate of 1,160,000.

Single-family housing starts in December were at a rate of 795,000; this is 4.0 percent below the revised November figure of 828,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 417,000.

An estimated 1,166,400 housing units were started in 2016. This is 4.9 percent above the 2015 figure of 1,111,800.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,210,000. This is 0.2 percent below the revised November rate of 1,212,000, but is 0.7 percent above the December 2015 estimate of 1,201,000.

Single-family authorizations in December were at a rate of 817,000; this is 4.7 percent above the revised November figure of 780,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 355,000 in December.

An estimated 1,186,900 housing units were authorized by building permits in 2016. This is 0.4 percent above the 2015 figure of 1,182,600.
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 December compared to November.  Multi-family starts are up 9% year-over-year.

Multi-family is volatile, and the swings have been huge over the last four months.

Single-family starts (blue) decreased in December, and are up 4% 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 above expectations due to the sharp increase in multi-family starts.  However October and November were revised down slightly, combined.  Another solid report.  I'll have more later ...