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The Census Department New Residential Construction Report shows housing starts fell 8.7% in February 2019.

Housing Starts

Privately‐owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,162,000. This is 8.7 percent below the revised January estimate of 1,273,000 and is 9.9 percent below the February 2018 rate of 1,290,000. Single‐family housing starts in February were at a rate of 805,000; this is 17.0 percent below the revised January figure of 970,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 352,000.

Housing Completions

Privately‐owned housing completions in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,303,000. This is 4.5 percent above the revised January estimate of 1,247,000 and is 1.1 percent above the February 2018 rate of 1,289,000. Single‐family housing completions in February were at a rate of 816,000; this is 10.0 percent below the revised January rate of 907,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 473,000.

Building Permits

Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,296,000. This is 1.6 percent below the revised January rate of 1,317,000 and is 2.0 percent below the February 2018 rate of 1,323,000. Single‐family authorizations in February were at a rate of 821,000; this is 0.0 percent below the revised January figure of 821,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 439,000 in February.

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Total Starts

  • US Total: 1,162,000
  • Northeast: 98,000 -29.5%
  • Midwest: 161,000 +26.8%
  • South: 663,000 -6.8%
  • West: 240,000 -18.9%

Single-Family Starts

  • US: 805,000 -17.0%
  • Northeast: 47,000 -42.0%
  • Midwest: 110,000 -8.3%
  • South: 478,000 -12.1%
  • West: 170,000 -24.4%

Year-Over-Year

  • Total starts are down 9.9%
  • Single-Family starts are down 10.6%

These are terrible numbers.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock