Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Housing Starts Decreased to 1.078 Million Annual Rate in December

by Calculated Risk on 2/26/2019 08:40:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately‐owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,078,000. This is 11.2 percent below the revised November estimate of 1,214,000 and is 10.9 percent below the December 2017 rate of 1,210,000. Single‐family housing starts in December were at a rate of 758,000; this is 6.7 percent below the revised November figure of 812,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 302,000.

An estimated 1,246,600 housing units were started in 2018. This is 3.6 percent (±2.1%) above the 2017 figure of 1,203,000.

Building Permits:
Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,326,000. This is 0.3 percent above the revised November rate of 1,322,000 and is 0.5 percent above the December 2017 rate of 1,320,000. Single‐family authorizations in December were at a rate of 829,000; this is 2.2 percent below the revised November figure of 848,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 460,000 in December.

An estimated 1,310,700 housing units were authorized by building permits in 2018. This is 2.2 percent above the 2017 figure of 1,282,000.
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 December compared to November.   Multi-family starts were down 12% year-over-year in December.

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

Single-family starts (blue) decreased in December, and were down 11% 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 eventual recovery (but still historically low).

Total housing starts in December were below expectations, and starts for October and November were revised down.

I'll have more later ...