by Bill McBride on 5/16/2013
From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions
Privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 853,000. This is 16.5 percent below the revised March estimate of 1,021,000, but is 13.1 percent above the April 2012 rate of 754,000.
Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 610,000; this is 2.1 percent below the revised March figure of 623,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 234,000.
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,017,000. This is 14.3 percent above the revised March rate of 890,000 and is 35.8 percent above the April 2012 estimate of 749,000.
Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 617,000; this is 3.0 percent above the revised March figure of 599,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 374,000 in April.
The first graph shows single and multi-family housing starts for the last several years.
Multi-family starts (red, 2+ units) decreased sharply in April following the sharp increase in March (Multi-family is volatile month-to-month).
Single-family starts (blue) declined to 610,000 in April (Note: March was revised up from 619 thousand to 623 thousand).
The second graph shows total and single unit starts since 1968.
This was well below expectations of 969 thousand starts in April, mostly due to the sharp decrease in multi-family starts. Total starts in April were only up 13.1% from April 2012; however single family starts were up 20.8% year-over-year. I’ll have more later …