Housing starts in the US fell 8.7 percent from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,162 thousand units in February 2019, following a downwardly revised 11.7 percent surge in January. It was the largest decline in housing starts since last June.
Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, tumbled 17 percent to a rate of 805 thousand units in February, the lowest level since May 2017, while starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment jumped 17.8 percent to a rate of 357 thousand units. The biggest declines in housing starts were recorded in the Northeast (-29.5 percent to 98 thousand), West (-18.9 percent to 240 thousand) and South (-6.8 percent to 663 thousand), while an increase was seen in the Midwest (26.8 percent to 161 thousand). Starts for January were revised to 1,273 thousand from 1,230 thousand.
Building permits fell 1.6 percent to a rate of 1,162 thousand units in February, while markets were expecting a 0.6 percent decline. Permits for the volatile multi-family housing segment went down 4.2 percent to 475 thousand, while single-family authorizations were unchanged at 821 thousand. Across regions, permits dropped in the West (-15 percent to 288 thousand), but increased in the South (4.0 percent to 683 thousand), Midwest (1.1 percent to 188 thousand) and Northeast (1.5 percent to 137 thousand). Permits for January were revised to 1,317 thousand from 1,345 thousand.
Year-on-year, housing starts plunged 9.9 percent and building permits decreased 2 percent.
3/26/2019 12:57:55 PM