Housing Starts and Permits Well Below Most Pessimistic Estimates

Mish

Economists expected a small pullback in housing starts and permits. Instead, those aspects of the report were a disaster

Rolling Back January Gains

Mortgage News Daily reports Housing Starts and Permits Roll Back January Gains.

The two principal measures of residential construction activity had been expected to decline a bit in February after a strong performance to kick off the new year.  Instead, the figures reported by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for both construction permits and housing starts were well below even the most pessimistic predictions.

Let's dive into the Census Department New Residential Construction report for the details.

At a Glance

  • Permits Down 5.7% Month-Over-Month
  • Permits Up 6.5% Year-Over-Year
  • Starts Down 7.0% Month-Over-Month
  • Starts Down 4.0% Year-Over-Year
  • Completions Up 7.8% Month-Over-Month
  • Completions Up 13.6% Year-Over-Year

Image placeholder title

Building Permits

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,298,000. This is 5.7 percent below the revised January rate of 1,377,000, but is 6.5 percent above the February 2017 rate of 1,219,000. Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 872,000; this is 0.6 percent below the revised January figure of 877,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 385,000 in February.

Housing Starts

Privately-owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,236,000. This is 7.0 percent below the revised January estimate of 1,329,000 and is 4.0 percent below the February 2017 rate of 1,288,000. Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 902,000; this is 2.9 percent above the revised January figure of 877,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 317,000.

Housing Completions

Privately-owned housing completions in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,319,000. This is 7.8 percent above the revised January estimate of 1,224,000 and is 13.6 percent above the February 2017 rate of 1,161,000. Single-family housing completions in February were at a rate of 895,000; this is 3.0 percent above the revised January rate of 869,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 418,000.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments

Global Economics

FEATURED
COMMUNITY