Friday, February 16, 2018

Housing Starts increased to 1.326 Million Annual Rate in January

by Bill McBride on 2/16/2018 08:39:00 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 1,326,000. This is 9.7 percent above the revised December estimate of 1,209,000 and is 7.3 percent above the January 2017 rate of 1,236,000. Single-family housing starts in January were at a rate of 877,000; this is 3.7 percent above the revised December figure of 846,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 431,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,396,000. This is 7.4 percent above the revised December rate of 1,300,000 and is 7.4 percent above the January 2017 rate of 1,300,000. Single-family authorizations in January were at a rate of 866,000; this is 1.7 percent below the revised December figure of 881,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 479,000 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) increased sharply in January compared to December.   Multi-family starts were up 6.7% year-over-year in January.

Multi-family is volatile month-to-month, but has been mostly moving sideways the last few years.

Single-family starts (blue) increased in January, and are still up 7.6% 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 fairly low).

Total housing starts in January were above expectations, mostly due to a sharp increase in multi-family starts.  However starts for November were revised down, and December revised up slightly.

I'll have more later ...