Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Housing Starts Increased to 1.282 Million Annual Rate in August

by Bill McBride on 9/19/2018 08:37:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,282,000. This is 9.2 percent above the revised July estimate of 1,174,000 and is 9.4 percent above the August 2017 rate of 1,172,000. Single-family housing starts in August were at a rate of 876,000; this is 1.9 percent above the revised July figure of 860,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 392,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,229,000. This is 5.7 percent below the revised July rate of 1,303,000 and is 5.5 percent below the August 2017 rate of 1,300,000. Single-family authorizations in August were at a rate of 820,000; this is 6.1 percent below the revised July figure of 873,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 370,000 in August.
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 August compared to July.   Multi-family starts were up 38% year-over-year in August.

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

Single-family starts (blue) increased in August, and were down slightly 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 August were above expectations, and starts for June and July were both revised up.

I'll have more later ...