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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Housing Starts decreased to 1.421 Million Annual Rate in February

by Calculated Risk on 3/17/2021 08:38:00 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 1,421,000. This is 10.3 percent below the revised January estimate of 1,584,000 and is 9.3 percent below the February 2020 rate of 1,567,000. Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 1,040,000; this is 8.5 percent below the revised January figure of 1,136,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 372,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,682,000. This is 10.8 percent below the revised January rate of 1,886,000, but is 17.0 percent above the February 2020 rate of 1,438,000. Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 1,143,000; this is 10.0 percent below the revised January figure of 1,270,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 495,000 in February.
emphasis added
Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing StartsClick 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 February compared to January.   Multi-family starts were down 29% year-over-year in February.

Single-family starts (blue) decreased in February, and were up less than 1% year-over-year.   

Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing StartsThe 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 well below expectations, and starts in December and January were revised down slightly, combined.

I'll have more later …