Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Housing Starts Decreased to 1.162 Million Annual Rate in February

by Calculated Risk on 3/26/2019 08:40:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately‐owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,162,000. This is 8.7 percent below the revised January estimate of 1,273,000 and is 9.9 percent below the February 2018 rate of 1,290,000. Single‐family housing starts in February were at a rate of 805,000; this is 17.0 percent below the revised January figure of 970,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 352,000.

Building Permits:
Privately‐owned housing completions in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,303,000. This is 4.5 percent above the revised January estimate of 1,247,000 and is 1.1 percent above the February 2018 rate of 1,289,000. Single‐family housing completions in February were at a rate of 816,000; this is 10.0 percent below the revised January rate of 907,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 473,000.
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) increased  in February compared to January.   Multi-family starts were down 5% year-over-year in February.

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

Single-family starts (blue) decreased in February, 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 February were below expectations, however starts for December and January were revised up.

I'll have more later …