Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Housing Starts decreased to 1.215 Million Annual Rate in March

by Bill McBride on 4/18/2017 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 1,215,000. This is 6.8 percent below the revised February estimate of 1,303,000, but is 9.2 percent above the March 2016 rate of 1,113,000. Single-family housing starts in March were at a rate of 821,000; this is 6.2 percent below the revised February figure of 875,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 385,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,260,000. This is 3.6 percent above the revised February rate of 1,216,000 and is 17.0 percent above the March 2016 rate of 1,077,000. Single-family authorizations in March were at a rate of 823,000; this is 1.1 percent below the revised February figure of 832,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 401,000 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 up year-over-year.

Multi-family is volatile.

Single-family starts (blue) increased in March, and are up 9.3% 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 February starts were revised up slightly.  Still a decent report.  I'll have more later ...