CR: Housing Starts increase to 917 thousand SAAR in February

Housing Starts increase to 917 thousand SAAR in February

by Bill McBride on 3/19/2013 

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000. This is 0.8 percent above the revised January estimate of 910,000 and is 27.7 percent above the February 2012 rate of 718,000.

Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 618,000; this is 0.5 percent above the revised January figure of 615,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 285,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000. This is 4.6 percent above the revised January rate of 904,000 and is 33.8 percent above the February 2012 estimate of 707,000.

Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 600,000; this is 2.7 percent above the revised January figure of 584,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 316,000 in February.

Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing StartsClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows single and multi-family housing starts for the last several years.

Multi-family starts (red, 2+ units) increased slightly in February.

Single-family starts (blue) increased to 618,000 thousand in February and are at the highest level since June 2008.

The second graph shows total and single unit starts since 1968.

Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing StartsThis shows the huge collapse following the housing bubble, and that housing starts have been increasing lately after moving sideways for about two years and a half years.

Total starts are up about 90% from the bottom start rate, and single family starts are up about 75% from the post-bubble low.

This was at expectations of 919 thousand starts in February. Starts in February were up 27.7% from February 2012; single family starts were up 31.5% year-over-year. Starts in December and January were revised up, and permits were strong. I’ll have more later, but this was another solid report.

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/03/housing-starts-increase-to-917-thousand.html#4OTpRLvXdhEDMegM.99

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