Housing Starts Decreased to 1.139 Million Annual Rate in March
From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions
Privately‐owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,139,000. This is 0.3 percent below the revised February estimate of 1,142,000 and is 14.2 percent below the March 2018 rate of 1,327,000. Single‐family housing starts in March were at a rate of 785,000; this is 0.4 percent below the revised February figure of 788,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 337,000.
Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,269,000. This is 1.7 percent below the revised February rate of 1,291,000 and is 7.8 percent below the March 2018 rate of 1,377,000. Single‐family authorizations in March were at a rate of 808,000; this is 1.1 percent below the revised February figure of 817,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 425,000 in March.
Click on graph for larger image.
The first graph shows single and multi-family housing starts for the last several years.
Multi-family starts (red, 2+ units) were unchanged in March compared to February. Multi-family starts were down 20% year-over-year in March.
Multi-family is volatile month-to-month, and has been mostly moving sideways the last few years.
Single-family starts (blue) decreased in March, and were down 11% year-over-year.
The second graph shows total and single unit starts since 1968.
The second graph shows the huge collapse following the housing bubble, and then eventual recovery (but still historically low).
Total housing starts in March were below expectations. Starts for February were revised down, and starts for January were revised up.
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