February 20, 2013

Housing Starts Hit Four Year Seasonal High, Remain Below Average

US Housing Starts History (www.SocketSite.com)

Housing starts in the U.S. fell 8.5 percent from December to January but remain up 23.6 percent year-over-year as single-family home starts ticked up 0.8 percent (up 20.0 percent year-over-year) while construction of structures with five or more units fell 26.1 percent (up 34.7 percent year-over-year).

Single-family housing starts ticked up to 39,600 last month having averaged 87,400 a month since 1959, peaking at 170,400 in May of 2005 and measuring 150,700 that October. Starts for structures with five or more units fell to 17,700 last month having averaged 30,100 a month since 1963, peaking at 87,200 in May of 1973 and measuring 54,000 that October.

Total housing starts which measured 58,500 in January have averaged 122,500 a month since 1959, hitting 227,300 in early 2006 and peaking at 249,400 in early 1972.

On a year-over-year basis, permit activity to start construction was up 35.2 percent in January with applications for single-family homes up 29.2 percent, up 46.7 percent for multi-family housing.

In the west, starts were up 73.0 percent year-over-year, up 46.3 percent for single-family homes, while permit activity was up 72.7 percent, up 40.0 percent for single-family homes.

New Residential Construction Statistics [doc.gov]

First Published: February 20, 2013 9:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

The dramatic breakdown in housing starts is a very clear artifact of the housing bubble. Artificial prices led to a massive incentive to overbuild. We built it forward. Now many players that got burnt are out, the massive inventory has been mostly churned through and we're under-building. Prices are going to mirror this lack of supply until we build enough houses to absorb the increase in household numbers. SF proper was ahead of the curve and should stabilize but supply will take some time to catch on.

Posted by: lol at February 20, 2013 9:26 AM

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