Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Housing Starts decreased to 1.287 Million Annual Rate in April

by Bill McBride on 5/16/2018 08:39:00 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 1,287,000. This is 3.7 percent below the revised March estimate of 1,336,000, but is 10.5 percent above the April 2017 rate of 1,165,000. Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 894,000; this is 0.1 percent above the revised March figure of 893,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 374,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,352,000. This is 1.8 percent below the revised March rate of 1,377,000, but is 7.7 percent above the April 2017 rate of 1,255,000. Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 859,000; this is 0.9 percent above the revised March figure of 851,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 450,000 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 were up 18.7% year-over-year in April.

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

Single-family starts (blue) increased slightly in April, and are up 7.2% 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 April were below expectations, however starts for February and March were revised up (Combined).

I'll have more later ...