The New Residential Construction Report for July shows another bad month for housing.
- Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,635,000. This is 2.6 percent above the revised June rate of 1,594,000 and is 6.0 percent above the July 2020 rate of 1,542,000.
- Single‐family authorizations in July were at a rate of 1,048,000; this is 1.7 percent below the revised June figure of 1,066,000.
- Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 532,000 in July.
- Privately‐owned housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,534,000. This is 7.0 percent below the revised June estimate of 1,650,000, but is 2.5 percent above the July 2020 rate of 1,497,000.
- Single‐family housing starts in July were at a rate of 1,111,000; this is 4.5 percent below the revised June figure of 1,163,000.
- The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 412,000.
- Privately‐owned housing completions in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,391,000. This is 5.6 percent (above the revised June estimate of 1,317,000 and is 3.8 percent above the July 2020 rate of 1,340,000.
- Single‐family housing completions in July were at a rate of 954,000; this is 3.6 percent above the revised June rate of 921,000.
- The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 426,000.
Seasonally-adjusted Census Bureau reporting by percentages dramatically distorts what's really going on.
The month-to-month seasonal adjustments are huge, Covid and the rebound remains a big factor and weather enters into play.
Unadjusted there were 139,600 starts, which seasonally-adjusted and annualized translated to 1,534,000 starts
Starts vs Pre-Pandemic Level
Longer-term the lead chart provides a better frame of reference for the pandemic.
Housing starts were at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 1,589,000 in February of 2020. In July of 2021, starts are below that level and are now at a rate of 1,534,000.
There was a very strong rebound from the housing bubble bust, a huge covid decline, then an even bigger covid rebound.
After all that, it looks as if we are close to the long-term average. A quick check shows the SAAR average since January 1959 is 1,430,000.
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