Housing Starts Dive 8.7 Percent: Awful Single-Family Stats in Every Region

Evidence stacked up that the surge in January was a one-hit wonder. Housing starts continued their volatile trend lower.

The Census Department New Residential Construction Report shows housing starts fell 8.7% in February 2019.

Housing Starts

Privately‐owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,162,000. This is 8.7 percent below the revised January estimate of 1,273,000 and is 9.9 percent below the February 2018 rate of 1,290,000. Single‐family housing starts in February were at a rate of 805,000; this is 17.0 percent below the revised January figure of 970,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 352,000.

Housing Completions

Privately‐owned housing completions in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,303,000. This is 4.5 percent above the revised January estimate of 1,247,000 and is 1.1 percent above the February 2018 rate of 1,289,000. Single‐family housing completions in February were at a rate of 816,000; this is 10.0 percent below the revised January rate of 907,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 473,000.

Building Permits

Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,296,000. This is 1.6 percent below the revised January rate of 1,317,000 and is 2.0 percent below the February 2018 rate of 1,323,000. Single‐family authorizations in February were at a rate of 821,000; this is 0.0 percent below the revised January figure of 821,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 439,000 in February.

Total Starts

  • US Total: 1,162,000
  • Northeast: 98,000 -29.5%
  • Midwest: 161,000 +26.8%
  • South: 663,000 -6.8%
  • West: 240,000 -18.9%

Single-Family Starts

  • US: 805,000 -17.0%
  • Northeast: 47,000 -42.0%
  • Midwest: 110,000 -8.3%
  • South: 478,000 -12.1%
  • West: 170,000 -24.4%

Year-Over-Year

  • Total starts are down 9.9%
  • Single-Family starts are down 10.6%

These are terrible numbers.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (13)
No. 1-8
offintherough
offintherough

Amazing that outside of the 9/11 event in 2001 which didn't affect housing, everytime housing was this low it was in a recession....and that is after 10 years of recovery...graphically housing has been in recession every year in the last decade

abend237-04
abend237-04

I'm beginning to think that Chinese capital flight might be the simplest explanation as to why housing prices haven't fallen nearly enough to reflect the real post-recession US housing demand. The kids are still in the basement, and saddled now with $1.5 Trillion in college debt to boot, yet housing prices march onward...in the midst of rising rates. Somebody's got some 'splaining to do.

shamrock
shamrock

Still, GDPNow inched up after the report.

bIlluminati
bIlluminati

I'm seeing more housing supply (existing) coming in at the lower end. (houses of 1000+ sq ft, no mobile homes, $50,000 or under) PA - Feb 2019 - 1585 - Mar 2019 - 1957 - change - +23.5% MI - Feb 2019 - 1521 - Mar 2019 - 1743 - change +14.6% DE - Feb 2019 - 22 Mar 2019 - 73 - change +231.8% OR - Feb 2019 - 7 Mar 2019 - 22 - change +185.7% MD - Feb 2019 - 166 Mar 2019 - 375 - change +125.9% On the other hand, HI went from 1 to 0 - change -100.0%

Bam_Man
Bam_Man

"Da ship be sinkin."