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Housing Starts Archives - Shopfloor

Housing Starts Disappointed in December, but Permits Point to Optimism for the Coming Months

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The Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said that new housing starts disappointed in December, pulling back sharply from a 13-month high in November. New residential construction decreased by 8.2 percent from 1,299,000 units at the annual rate in November to 1,192,000 in December, a three-month low. The decline in activity in the latest data came entirely from a significant decline in single-family starts, off by 11.8 percent from 948,000 to 836,000 units, with notable decreases in every region of the country except the West (which was unchanged). It is perhaps possible that poor weather might have played a role in diminishing activity in December. More encouragingly, single-family starts have increased 3.5 percent over the past 12 months, up from 815,000 units in December 2016. Read More

Housing Starts Jumped to a 13-Month High in November

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The Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said that new housing starts jumped to a 13-month high in November. New residential construction rose 3.3 percent from 1,256,000 units at the annual rate in October to 1,297,000 in November, its fastest pace since October 2016.

More importantly, the increase in the latest data came from a significant uptick in activity for single-family construction, up from 883,000 in October to 930,000 in November, its best reading since September 2007. Moreover, single-family starts have risen by 13.0 percent over the past 12 months. This is encouraging news and a sign that the housing market has strengthened recently from the lull experienced over the summer months. With that in mind, it should not be a surprise that home builder optimism soared to an 18-year high in the latest survey, with a very healthy outlook for 2018. Read More

Housing Starts Jumped to a One-Year High in October

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The Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said that new housing starts jumped to a one-year high in October, bouncing back from hurricane-related softness in the prior release. New residential construction rose 13.7 percent from 1,135,000 units at the annual rate in September to 1,290,000 units in October, its fastest pace in 12 months. That is encouraging news, and yet, it is worth noting that the bulk of that increase stemmed from better multifamily activity, which can often be highly volatile from month to month. Multifamily housing starts soared from 302,000 to 413,000 in this release, the best reading since January. New single-family construction was also higher, up from 833,000 to 877,000, an 8-month high. Read More

Housing Starts Disappoint Again in September, Partly on Hurricane Impacts

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The Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said that new housing starts fell for the sixth time in the past seven months, down 4.7 percent in September and continuing a disappointing trend in the overall data. New residential construction declined from 1,183,000 units at the annual rate in August to 1,127,000 in September. A fair share of the decline stemmed from the impacts of recent hurricanes, but there was decreases in activity in the Midwest and the Northeast, suggesting some broader softness in the market, especially for multifamily construction. Indeed, housing starts have been weaker than desired year-to-date, drifting lower since peaking at 1,288,000 units in February. With that said, starts have risen 6.1 percent over the past 12 months, up from 1,062,000 units in September 2016.   Read More

Housing Starts Declined in August but Single-Family and Permits Remained Encouraging

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The Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said that new housing starts declined 0.8 percent in August. New residential construction edged down from 1,190,000 units at the annual rate in July to 1,180,000 in August. It is possible that there were some negative impacts from Hurricane Harvey in these data, much as seen in the home builder confidence numbers released yesterday. Outside of weather effects, housing starts have been softer than desired year-to-date, drifting lower since peaking at 1,288,000 units in February. With that said, starts have risen 1.4 percent over the past 12 months, up 1.4 percent since August 2016. Read More

Housing Starts Rebounded in June After a Soft Spring

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The Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that new housing starts rebounded in June after a soft spring. New residential construction rose from an annualized 1,122,000 units in May, an eight-month low, to 1,215,000 in June. Since reaching 1,288,000 units in February, housing starts have pulled back; however, on the positive side, this is the first time activity has exceeded 1.2 million since then, which is encouraging. Homebuilder optimism remains strong despite slipping once again, with respondents to that survey predicting healthy gains in activity over the next six months (see below). I am forecasting growth of 1.28 million starts by year’s end.

Looking at the June data, single-family (up from 799,000 to 849,000) and multifamily (up from 323,000 to 366,000) starts increased in the month, with both at their fastest rate since February, mirroring the headline number. The Midwest and Northeast saw the strongest growth, with only marginal gains in the West, whereas activity slipped in the South. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts rose 2.1 percent from June 2016’s pace of 1,190,000. Single-family starts have jumped 10.3 percent over the past 12 months, up from 770,000 one year ago. In contrast, multifamily starts, which can be highly volatile from month to month, have fallen 12.9 percent over that time frame.

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Housing Starts Weakened Again in May, Dropping for the Third Straight Month

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The Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said that new housing starts weakened again in May, dropping for the third straight month. New residential construction fell from an annualized 1,156,000 in April to 1,092,000 in May, its lowest level since September. Since reaching 1,288,000 units in February, housing starts have pulled back considerably. This report was disappointing, especially since it was expected to rise to exceed 1.2 million again. Perhaps we will see a rebound in the summer months. For their part, the home builder optimism remains strong, with respondents to that survey predicting healthy gains in activity over the next six months. I am also predicting a bounce back in my forecast, which is for 1.25 million starts by year’s end. Read More

Housing Starts Pulled Back in March but Have Exceeded 1.2 Million in Five of the Past Six Months

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The Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said that new housing starts declined 6.8 percent in March. New residential construction activity fell from an annualized 1,303,000 in February to 1,215,000 in March. More importantly, it has exceeded 1.2 million in five of the past six months – a psychological threshold that we appear to have finally sustained. That suggests that the housing market continues to show some strength, even with some notable easing in the latest data. Along those lines, both single-family (down from 875,000 to 821,000) and multifamily (down from 428,000 to 394,000) starts were lower in March, with single-family activity decelerating from a pace not seen since October 2007. Read More

Housing Starts Rose 3.0 Percent in February, Exceed 1.2 Million for Fourth Time in the Past Five Months

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The Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that new housing starts rose 3.0 percent in February. More importantly, it has now exceeded 1.2 million for the fourth time in the past five months—a psychological threshold that we appear to have finally sustained. New residential construction activity increased from an annualized 1,251,000 in January to 1,288,000 in February, its highest level in four months. In addition, single-family housing starts jumped from 819,000 to 872,000, a pace not seen since October 2007. Yet, the multifamily segment, which is often quite volatile month to month, eased from 432,000 to 416,000.

On a year-over-year basis, new residential construction has risen 6.2 percent, up from 1,213,000 in February 2016. Single-family and multifamily activity was up 3.2 percent and 13.0 percent, respectively, over the past 12 months.

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Housing Starts Ease a Bit in January but Remain Mostly Encouraging

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

The Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said that new housing starts declined 2.6 percent in January, pulling back a bit after rebounding by 11.3 percent in December. New residential construction activity dropped from an annualized 1,279,000 in December to 1,246,000 in January. Another positive sign was the fact that housing starts have now exceeded 1.2 million in three of the past four months – a psychological threshold that we have struggled to maintain each time. Despite the easing in this report, housing market data remains mostly encouraging, up 10.5 percent over the past 12 months from 1,128,000 in January 2016. Indeed, much of the recent volatility has come from the multifamily segment, ranging from 271,000 units in September to 471,000 in December. In this release, multifamily starts decreased to 423,000 units, up 19.8 percent year-over-year from 353,000 units one year ago.

On the other hand, single-family housing starts have more consistently drifted higher, even with a slight lull in both November and December. Single-family starts rose from 808,000 in December to 823,000 in January. While this was lower than the 868,000 units started in October, its fastest pace since October 2007, the current data represent progress from 775,000 units in January 2016, a year-over-year gain of 6.2 percent. Read More

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