October 19, 2016

Another False Hope Dashed: September Housing Starts and Completions Dive

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:46 pm

From the Census Bureau:

BUILDING PERMITS

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,225,000. This is 6.3 percent (±1.9%) above the revised August rate of 1,152,000 and is 8.5 percent (±2.4%) above the September 2015 estimate of 1,129,000.

Single-family authorizations in September were at a rate of 739,000; this is 0.4 percent (±1.6%)* above the revised August figure of 736,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 449,000 in September.

HOUSING STARTS

Privately-owned housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,047,000. This is 9.0 percent (±9.2%)* below the revised August estimate of 1,150,000 and is 11.9 percent (±11.9%) below the September 2015 rate of 1,189,000.

Single-family housing starts in September were at a rate of 783,000; this is 8.1 percent (±7.4%) above the revised August figure of 724,000. The September rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 250,000.

HOUSING COMPLETIONS

Privately-owned housing completions in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 951,000. This is 8.4 percent (±10.3%)* below the revised August estimate of 1,038,000 and is 5.8 percent (±13.4%)* below the September 2015 rate of 1,010,000.

Single-family housing completions in September were at a rate of 687,000; this is 8.8 percent (±9.8%)* below the revised August rate of 753,000. The September rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 250,000.

It would appear that builders are stockpiling permits — and perhaps even holding off on completing units — in hopes of a more conducive business atmosphere next year.

The strong-looking seasonally adjusted single-family starts number isn’t really. It’s 7 percent below February’s peak of 845,000, and slightly below November 2015. The multifamily starts figure of 250,000, which is the lowest single-month figure in over three years, is 39 percent below August.

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