Housing starts

newratings.com  Oct 19  Comment 
BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - The Commerce Department releases housing starts and building permits for September at 8:30 am ET Wednesday. Economists expect housing starts to have rebounded by 2.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.17 million...
Wall Street Journal  Oct 19  Comment 
Housing starts fell for the second straight month in September, but builders received more permits, a sign residential construction should pick up in the coming months amid steady demand.
MarketWatch  Oct 19  Comment 
MarketWatch  Oct 19  Comment 
Builders broke ground on fewer homes than expected in September but applied for more permits for future construction.
Clusterstock  Oct 19  Comment 
New residential construction unexpectedly fell in September. Housing starts fell by 9% at a  seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.05 million, according to the Census Bureau.  Starts of multi-family structures with five or more units...
newratings.com  Oct 11  Comment 
CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Canada mortgage and housing Corp. releases Canada housing starts for September at 8:15 am ET Tuesday. The seasonally adjusted rate of housing starts is expected to rise to 190,000 units in September, down from 182,700 units in...
newratings.com  Sep 20  Comment 
BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - After the release of U.S. housing starts data for August at 8:30 am ET Tuesday, the greenback inched down against its major rivals. The greenback was trading at 1.1184 against the euro, 101.81 against the yen, 0.9785 against...


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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