Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Housing Starts Decreased to 1.201 Million Annual Rate in September

by Bill McBride on 10/17/2018 08:43:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately‐owned housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,201,000. This is 5.3 percent below the revised August estimate of 1,268,000, but is 3.7 percent above the September 2017 rate of 1,158,000. Single‐family housing starts in September were at a rate of 871,000; this is 0.9 percent below the revised August figure of 879,000. The September rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 324,000.

Building Permits:
Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,241,000. This is 0.6 percent below the revised August rate of 1,249,000 and is 1.0 percent below the September 2017 rate of 1,254,000. Single‐family authorizations in September were at a rate of 851,000; this is 2.9 percent above the revised August figure of 827,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 351,000 in September.
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 September compared to August.   Multi-family starts were up slightly year-over-year in September.

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

Single-family starts (blue) decreased slightly in September, but were up 4.8% 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 September were slightly below expectations, and starts for July and August were revised down slightly, combined.

I'll have more later ...