Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Housing Starts decreased to 1.567 Million Annual Rate in January

by Calculated Risk on 2/19/2020 08:37:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately‐owned housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,567,000. This is 3.6 percent below the revised December estimate of 1,626,000, but is 21.4 percent above the January 2019 rate of 1,291,000. Single‐family housing starts in January were at a rate of 1,010,000; this is 5.9 percent below the revised December figure of 1,073,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 547,000.

Building Permits:
Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,551,000. This is 9.2 percent above the revised December rate of 1,420,000 and is 17.9 percent above the January 2019 rate of 1,316,000. Single‐family authorizations in January were at a rate of 987,000; this is 6.4 percent above the revised December figure of 928,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 522,000 in January.
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) were up in January compared to December.   Multi-family starts were up 71.3% year-over-year in January.

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

Single-family starts (blue) decreased in January, and were up 4.6% 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 January were well above expectations and revisions were positive.

I'll have more later …