by CalculatedRisk on 2/16/2012
From the Census Bureau:
Privately-owned housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 699,000. This is 1.5 percent (±16.8%)* above the revised December estimate of 689,000 and is 9.9 percent (±14.2%)* above the January 2011 rate of 636,000.
Single-family housing starts in January were at a rate of 508,000; this is 1.0 percent (±19.0%)* below the revised December figure of 513,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 175,000.
CR Note: Single-family starts were revised up for November and December (by 43 thousand in December).
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 676,000. This is 0.7 percent (±1.2%)* above the revised December rate of 671,000 and is 19.0 percent (±2.4%) above the January 2011 estimate of 568,000.
Single-family authorizations in January were at a rate of 445,000; this is 0.9 percent (±1.1%)* above the revised December figure of 441,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 208,000 in January.
Total housing starts were at 699 thousand (SAAR) in January, up 1.5% from the revised December rate of 689 thousand (SAAR). Note that December was revised up from 657 thousand.
Single-family starts declined 1.0% to 508 thousand in January, however December was revised up by 43 thousand from 470 thousand. There were the first two months above 500 thousand since the expiration of the tax credit.
The second graph shows total and single unit starts since 1968.
It now appears both multi-family and single-family starts are moving up, but from very low levels.
This was above expectations of 670 thousand starts in January. I’ll have more on housing starts and completions later.