Housing Starts Up Almost Ten Percent from a Year Ago

February 16, 2012 (Chris Moore)

Housing starts for multi-family building remained strong in January, increasing by over 14 percent from December, while housing starts for single-family homes edged down slightly according to the latest data released by the Census Bureau.

Housing Starts:

Privately owned housing starts increased by 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 699,000 in January from a revised estimate of 689,000 in December. Housing starts were 9.9 percent higher than in January 2011 which had an estimated 636,000 starts.

Single-family housing starts declined in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 508,000, down 1.0 percent from a revised estimate of 513,000 starts in December but up 16.2 percent from January of last year which reported an estimated 437,000 starts.

Housing starts for multi-family dwellings increased 14.4 percent from a revised 153,000 starts in December to 175,000 starts in January. Housing starts for multi-family dwellings were 6.4 percent lower than a year ago when an estimated 187,000 starts were recorded.

Regionally, monthly housing starts increased in three of the four regions with the South posting the largest gain of 18.3 percent, followed by the West at 11.9 percent and the Northeast at 7.9 percent, while the Midwest posted the only decline of 40.7 percent.

Compared to a year ago, two of the four regions posted an increase in housing starts with the South posting the largest increase of 26.8 percent, followed by the West at 16.5 percent while the Northeast had the largest annual decline of 27.7 percent followed by the Midwest with a yearly decline of 11.3 percent.

Building Permits:

The number of building permits issued in January increased slightly to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 676,000, up 0.7 percent from a revised estimate of 671,000 permits in December. Authorized building permits were 19.0 percent higher than the January 2011 estimate of 568,000.

Single-family building permit authorizations were 0.9 percent higher in January than December with 445,000 permits authorized in January compared to a revised 441,000 in December. Building permit authorizations for single-family homes were 6.2 percent higher than in January of last year which had an estimated 419,000 permits issued.

Multi-family dwelling permits in January increased slightly to 208,000 authorizations from a revised total of 206,000 in December, an increase of 1.0 percent. Authorizations for multi-family dwellings were 61.2 percent higher than in January of last year which had an estimated 129,000 authorizations.

Building permit authorizations declined in two of the four regions in January compared to December. In the Midwest, authorizations declined 3.7 percent and in the West authorizations declined 18.2 percent. In the South, building permit authorizations were 10.1 percent higher, while in the Northeast, authorizations were 4.2 percent higher than the previous month.

Year-over-year, building permit authorizations posted gains in three of the four regions with the South posting a 30.1 percent increase followed by gains of 13.5 and 9.6 percent in the West and the Midwest, respectively. The Northeast reported the only decline of 2.6 percent.

Housing Completions:

Housing completions declined by 12.0 in January compared to December with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000 completions reported in January compared to December’s revised estimate of 602,000 completions. Housing completions were 4.1 percent higher than in January of last year when an estimated 509,000 completions were reported.

Single-family completions in January were at a rate of 389,000, which was 14.9 percent lower than December’s revised rate of 457,000 and 6.7 percent lower than last year’s rate of 417,000. Multi-family completions in January were at a rate of 136,000, unchanged from December but 58.1 percent higher than the 86,000 completions in January of last year..

Tags: housing starts, single-family homes, multi-family dwellings, building permits, housing completions

Source:
Census Bureau