by Bill McBride on 9/19/2012
Privately-owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 750,000. This is 2.3 percent above the revised July estimate of 733,000 and is 29.1 percent above the August 2011 rate of 581,000.
Single-family housing starts in August were at a rate of 535,000; this is 5.5 percent above the revised July figure of 507,000.
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 803,000. This is 1.0 percent below the revised July rate of 811,000, but is 24.5 percent (±1.7%) above the August 2011 estimate of 645,000.
Single-family authorizations in August were at a rate of 512,000; this is 0.2 percent above the revised July figure of 511,000.
The first graph shows single and multi-family housing starts for the last several years. Starts are slowing increasing.
Total housing starts were at 750 thousand (SAAR) in August, up 2.3% from the revised July rate of 733 thousand (SAAR). Note that July was revised from 746 thousand.
Single-family starts increased 5.5% to 535 thousand in August.
The second graph shows total and single unit starts since 1968.
This shows the huge collapse following the housing bubble, and that total housing starts have been increasing lately after moving sideways for about two years and a half years.
Total starts are up 57% from the bottom start rate, and single family starts are up 51% from the low.
This was below expectations of 768 thousand starts in August – mostly because of the volatile multi-family sector – but the key is starts are up solidly from last year. Right now starts are on pace to be up about 25% from 2011. Also note that total permits are up sharply from last year.