Today, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that there were 1,288,000 housing starts. Revisions for January were a tad higher at 1,251,000 . Housing permits fell to 1,213,000 from a revised January print of 1,293,000.
Housing Starts Privately-owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,288,000. This is 3.0 percent (±13.0 percent)* above the revised January estimate of 1,251,000 and is 6.2 percent (±10.4 percent)* above the February 2016 rate of 1,213,000. Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 872,000; this is 6.5 percent (±10.9 percent)* above the revised January figure of 819,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 396,000.
Building Permits Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,213,000. This is 6.2 percent (±1.8 percent) below the revised January rate of 1,293,000, but is 4.4 percent (±1.3 percent) above the February 2016 rate of 1,162,000. Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 832,000; this is 3.1 percent (±1.5 percent) above the revised January figure of 807,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 334,000 in February.
The take-away is that we are still seeing growth in single family starts.
Single family starts were up 3.2% year over year and single family permits were up 3.1%. We had 58K in construction jobs in the last jobs report. This was a strong print, most likely the warmer weather.
Still, the trend for now is slow and steady growth for total housing starts and growth in single family starts while multifamily starts have cooled from the start of this cycle.
From Calculated Risk
Demographics for housing over the next few years are going to switch to ownership rather than renting. We are desperately in need of cheaper, smaller homes from the builders. In a few years we will see if the builders choose to go that route. The most bullish housing data I see is that median home sales prices haven’t gone anywhere for some time. That means more smaller homesare in the sales mix.
Slow and steady is the name of the game. We will see in the next few new home sales reports if higher rates will impact growth in new homes sales. Regardless, growth is still in the works for 2017.
Logan Mohtashami is a financial writer and blogger covering the U.S. economy with a specialization in the housing market. Logan Mohtashami is a senior loan officer at AMC Lending Group, which has been providing mortgage services for California residents since 1987. Logan also tracks all economic data daily on his own facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Logan.Mohtashami