Building Permits and Single Family Starts at 5 Year Highs Despite Multi-Family Slump
The Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) and the Census Bureau said this morning that permits for
residential construction were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
925,000 units in January. This was an
increase of 35.2 percent over the rate in January 2012 and was 1.8 percent higher
than the December rate of 909,000 which was revised upward in the report from
Single family building permits were issued at a
rate of 584,000 units, 1.9 percent higher than the 573,000 issued in December
and 29.2 percent higher than a year earlier. Multi-family permits, (in buildings with five
or more units) were issued at a seasonally adjusted rate of 311,000 units
compared to 308,000 in December and 212,000 in January 2012.
Privately-owned housing starts in January
were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 890,000, down from 973,000 in January,
but 23.6 percent higher than the January 2012 rate of 720,000. The original figure reported for December was
Single family housing starts were at a
rate of 613,000, up 0.8 percent from a downwardly revised December estimate of
608,000 and 20 percent higher than a year earlier. Starts in buildings with five units or more
were at a rate of 260,000 a 26.1 percent decrease from December.
Housing completions were at a seasonally
adjusted annual rate of 724,000, up 6.0 percent from the December estimate of
683,000 and 33.6 percent higher than the completion rate in January 2012 of
542,000. Single family unit completions
were at a rate of 565,000, up 7.0 percent from December and 43.4 percent from a
year earlier. Multifamily units were
completed at a rate of 152,000, up 3.4 percent from December's rate of 147,000.
There was a backlog of 96,300 permits
for which construction had not yet been started in January. More than half of these, 48,600, were for
units in multi-family buildings and more than half of the unexecuted permits
(54,500) were located in the South.
There were 587,000 residential units
under construction at the end of the reporting period; 284,000 were single
family units and 264,000 were in buildings with five or more units.
On a regional basis, permits were up
10.1 percent month-over-month and 39.7 percent year-over-year in the Northeast but
housing starts decreased by 35.3 percent from December. Starts were 1.4 percent higher than a year
Permits in the Midwest rose 1.4 percent
from December and were 41.6 percent higher than a year earlier. Housing starts were down 50 percent compared
to December and down 10.4 percent from January 2012.
In the South there was an increase of
1.1 percent in permits issued compared to the previous month and starts
increased 4.1 percent. Both permits
issued and housing starts were 19.9 percent above the rate one year earlier.
Permitting was down 0.5 percent from
December in the West but was 72.7 percent above the rate in January 2012. Housing starts increased 16.7 percent from
December and 73.0 percent from the same period in 2012.