Publish date:

Housing Starts and Permits Rise in August but 2021 Essentially Flat

2021 housing starts have gone nowhere in an interesting way.
Author:
Housing Starts, Permits, Completions 2021-08

Building Permits 

  • Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,728,000. This is 6.0 percent above the revised July rate of 1,630,000 and is 13.5 percent above the August 2020 rate of 1,522,000. 
  • Single‐family authorizations in August were at a rate of 1,054,000; this is 0.6 percent above the revised July figure of 1,048,000. 
  • Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 632,000 in August. 

Housing Starts 

  • Privately‐owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,615,000. This is 3.9 percent above the revised July estimate of 1,554,000 and is 17.4 percent above the August 2020 rate of 1,376,000. 
  • Single‐family housing starts in August were at a rate of 1,076,000; this is 2.8 percent below the revised July figure of 1,107,000. 
  • The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 530,000. 

Housing Completions 

  • Privately‐owned housing completions in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,330,000. This is 4.5 percent below the revised July estimate of 1,392,000, but is 9.4 percent above the August 2020 rate of 1,216,000. 
  • Single‐family housing completions in August were at a rate of 971,000; this is 2.8 percent above the revised July rate of 945,000. 
  • The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 356,000. 

Above details from the Census Department New Residential Construction Report.

Year-over-year figures are very distorted because of Covid. It's best to step back and just look at numbers as in the lead chart. 

Here's a closer look with a spotlight on 2021.

Housing Starts, Permits, Completions Detail 

Housing Starts, Permits, Completions Detail 2021-08

Starts and Permits in 2021

  • 2021 Starts: Seasonally-adjusted housing starts were 1.625 million in January and 1.615 million in August. In between the bounces and dips even out.
  • 2021 Permits: Seasonally-adjusted permits were 1.883 million in January and 1.728 million in August. The trend in permits has generally been lower.

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

Housing Starts 1959-Present 

Housing Starts 1959-Present 2021-08

Since 1959 the average number of starts per month, seasonally adjusted, is 1.431 million units. We are at 1.615 million units now.

Housing Shortage Illusion

On August 23, I noted The NAR Claims There's a Chronic 5.5 Million Shortage of Houses

Why Buyers Are Aggressive

  • Cheap money from the Fed
  • Free stimulus money from Congress
  • A booming stock market bubble makes everyone feel wealthy

Let's not confuse a genuine shortage with an artificial shortage due to monetary stimulus by the Fed and free money stimulus from Congress coupled with a booming stock market bubble.

The shortage is an illusion. 

Thanks for Tuning In

Like these reports? If so, please Subscribe to MishTalk Email Alerts.

Subscribers get an email alert of each post as they happen. Read the ones you like and you can unsubscribe at any time.

If you have subscribed and do not get email alerts, please check your spam folder.

Mish