Housing starts

RECENT NEWS
Yahoo  Feb 16  Comment 
U.S. homebuilding fell in January as the construction of multi-family housing projects dropped, but upward revisions to the prior month's data and a jump in permits to a one-year high suggested the housing recovery remained on track. Factory...
Wall Street Journal  Feb 16  Comment 
U.S. housing starts slid in the first month of 2017, an indication that softness in apartment construction could offset a continued recovery in the single-family construction market this year.
SeekingAlpha  Feb 16  Comment 
MarketWatch  Feb 16  Comment 
U.S. housing starts decline in January
newratings.com  Feb 13  Comment 
WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - New residential construction in the U.S. pulled back in the month of January, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, although the report also showed a jump in building permits. The Commerce...
newratings.com  Feb 8  Comment 
CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Canada mortgage and housing Corp. releases Canada housing starts data for January at 8:15 am ET Wednesday. The seasonally adjusted rate of housing starts is expected to fall to 200,000 units in January, down from 207,000 units...
newratings.com  Jan 31  Comment 
TOKYO (dpa-AFX) - Japan's housing starts growth eased unexpectedly in December to its lowest level in four months, data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism showed Tuesday. Housing starts climbed 3.9 percent...
newratings.com  Jan 19  Comment 
WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - After reporting a steep drop in new U.S. residential construction in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing that housing starts saw a significant rebound in the month...




 
TOP CONTRIBUTORS

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.

Source

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]]

Image:starts.png


Discussion

  • 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.


Note

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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