Thursday, January 18, 2018

Housing Starts decreased to 1.192 Million Annual Rate in December

by Bill McBride on 1/18/2018 08:44:00 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 1,192,000. This is 8.2 percent below the revised November estimate of 1,299,000 and is 6.0 percent below the December 2016 rate of 1,268,000. Single-family housing starts in December were at a rate of 836,000; this is 11.8 percent below the revised November figure of 948,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 352,000.

An estimated 1,202,100 housing units were started in 2017. This is 2.4 percent above the 2016 figure of 1,173,800.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,302,000. This is 0.1 percent below the revised November rate of 1,303,000, but is 2.8 percent above the December 2016 rate of 1,266,000. Single-family authorizations in December were at a rate of 881,000; this is 1.8 percent above the revised November figure of 865,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 382,000 in December.
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 slightly in December compared to November.   However Multi-family starts were down sharply year-over-year.

Multi-family is volatile month-to-month, but has been mostly moving sideways to down recently.

Single-family starts (blue) decreased in December, but are still up 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 fairly low).

Total housing starts in December were below expectations.  However starts for October and November were revised up slightly.

I'll have more later ...