Thursday, February 16, 2017

Housing Starts at 1.246 Million Annual Rate in January

by Bill McBride on 2/16/2017 08:36:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,246,000. This is 2.6 percent below the revised December estimate of 1,279,000, but is 10.5 percent above the January 2016 rate of 1,128,000. Single-family housing starts in January were at a rate of 823,000; this is 1.9 percent above the revised December figure of 808,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 421,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,285,000. This is 4.6 percent above the revised December rate of 1,228,000 and is 8.2 percent above the January 2016 rate of 1,188,000. Single-family authorizations in January were at a rate of 808,000; this is 2.7 percent below the revised December figure of 830,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 446,000 in January.
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 January compared to December.  Multi-family starts are up year-over-year.

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

Single-family starts (blue) increased in January, and are up 6% 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 January were above expectations.  Also November and December were revised up sharply.  Another solid report.  I'll have more later ...