From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions
Privately‐owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,235,000. This is 5.7 percent above the revised March estimate of 1,168,000, but is 2.5 percent below the April 2018 rate of 1,267,000. Single‐family housing starts in April were at a rate of 854,000; this is 6.2 percent above the revised March figure of 804,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 359,000.
Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,296,000. This is 0.6 percent above the revised March rate of 1,288,000, but is 5.0 percent below the April 2018 rate of 1,364,000. Single‐family authorizations in April were at a rate of 782,000; this is 4.2 percent below the revised March figure of 816,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 467,000 in April.
The first graph shows single and multi-family housing starts for the last several years.
Multi-family starts (red, 2+ units) were up in April compared to March. Multi-family starts were unchanged year-over-year in April.
Multi-family is volatile month-to-month, and has been mostly moving sideways the last few years.
Single-family starts (blue) increased in April, and were down 4% year-over-year.
The second graph shows the huge collapse following the housing bubble, and then eventual recovery (but still historically low).
Total housing starts in April were above expectations, and starts for February and March were revised up.
I’ll have more later …