Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Housing Starts decreased to 1.172 Million Annual Rate in April

by Bill McBride on 5/16/2017 08:42:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,172,000. This is 2.6 percent below the revised March estimate of 1,203,000, but is 0.7 percent above the April 2016 rate of 1,164,000. Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 835,000; this is 0.4 percent above the revised March figure of 832,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 328,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,229,000. This is 2.5 percent below the revised March rate of 1,260,000, but is 5.7 percent above the April 2016 rate of 1,163,000. Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 789,000; this is 4.5 percent below the revised March figure of 826,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 403,000 in April.
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 April compared to March.  Multi-family starts are down year-over-year.

Multi-family is volatile.

Single-family starts (blue) increased in April, and are up 8.8% 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 April were below expectations.  This decline was due to a sharp decline in multi-family.  Still a decent report.  I'll have more later ...