Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Housing Starts increased to 1.319 Million Annual Rate in March

by Bill McBride on 4/17/2018 08:40:00 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 1,319,000. This is 1.9 percent above the revised February estimate of 1,295,000 and is 10.9 percent above the March 2017 rate of 1,189,000. Single-family housing starts in March were at a rate of 867,000; this is 3.7 percent below the revised February figure of 900,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 439,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,354,000. This is 2.5 percent above the revised February rate of 1,321,000 and is 7.5 percent above the March 2017 rate of 1,260,000. Single-family authorizations in March were at a rate of 840,000; this is 5.5 percent below the revised February figure of 889,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 473,000 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) increased in March compared to February.   Multi-family starts were up 23.8% year-over-year in March.

Multi-family is volatile month-to-month, and  has been mostly moving sideways the last few years (although moving up over the last few months)

Single-family starts (blue) decreased in March, and are up 5.2% 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 March were above expectations, and starts for January and February were revised up.

I'll have more later ...