Housing starts

newratings.com  Sep 30  Comment 
TOKYO (dpa-AFX) - Japan's housing starts increased for the sixth consecutive month in August, data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism showed Wednesday. Housing starts grew 8.8 percent in August from last year,...
New York Times  Sep 17  Comment 
Builders broke ground on fewer houses and apartment complexes in August, but homebuilding still seems much stronger than a year ago.
Wall Street Journal  Sep 17  Comment 
MarketWatch  Sep 17  Comment 
Housing starts dropped in August and July after earlier surge but the sector remains strong compared with a year-ago.
newratings.com  Aug 31  Comment 
TOKYO (dpa-AFX) - Japan's housing starts growth slowed more than expected in July, data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism showed Monday. Annual growth in housing starts eased notably to 7.4 percent in July...
Market Intelligence Center  Aug 21  Comment 
In July, the U.S. economy witnessed a peak in housing starts over nearly eight years. So does an inevitable pickup in the construction activity produce the antidote for the sluggish growth in the U.S. economy?    What Happened? Housing starts in...
New York Times  Aug 18  Comment 
Construction of single-family jumped 12.8 percent last month to the highest rate since December 2007, before recession began.
newratings.com  Aug 18  Comment 
WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - While the Commerce Department released a report on Tuesday showing that housing starts in the U.S. edged up to a nearly eight-year high in July, the report also showed a sharp drop in building permits. The report said...
newratings.com  Jul 31  Comment 
TOKYO (dpa-AFX) - Japan's housing starts growth accelerated sharply and construction orders rebounded in June, data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism showed Friday. Housing starts logged a double-digit growth...


Housing starts is a closely-watched indicator of the health of the home construction industry. Homebuilding is a major component of the overall economy due to all its size and its linkages with finance, basic materials, home furnishings and appliances, employment and overall growth.


The Census Bureau, together with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) jointly report on new residential construction each month. The report has three components: Building permits, housing starts and housing completions. See [[1]]



  • Housing starts is a measure of the number of privately-owned new housing units that began construction in the reporting month. It is usually reported at the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The most recent peak in starts was 1.8 million units in November 2006. In February of 2008 the SAAR was 1,065,000. (These figures include all housing types except mobile homes/manufactured housing.)
  • Before a housing unit is built a building permit is issued. In a sense, building permits are a leading indicator of how many starts there will be in a month or two. In February 2008 the SAAR for permitted units was 978,000, some 7.8% below the revised January rate.
  • Housing completions tells us how many of the homes that were permitted and started have been finished. This measure doesn’t get much attention by the media or most investors. As of February 2008 completions were at the SAAR of 1,208,000, which is about 8.8% below January and 26% below the rate one year earlier.


In general, and for a variety of reasons, starts are usually about 2.5% less than permits and completions are about 4.0% less than starts. The greatest variability is in the multifamily sector, where starts have been 22.5% less than permits (mostly due to reclassification to single-family) and completions have been 7.5% less than starts.

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