The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have released New Residential Construction statistics for April 2011.
Housing Starts data estimates how much new residential real estate construction occurred in the previous month. New construction means digging has begun. Adding rooms or renovating old ones does not count, the builder must be constructing a new home (can be on old foundation if re-building). Although the report offers up single family housing, 2-4 unit housing, and 5-unit and above housing data, single family housing is by far the most important as it accounts for 70-80% of total home building (which should be shifting more toward multi-family in the years ahead).
Building Permits data provides an estimate on the number of homes planning on being built. This indicator basically tracks how much future construction activity we should expect to take place in the future. This data is a part of Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators.
Reuters Quick Recap....
RTRS - US APRIL HOUSING STARTS -10.6 PCT VS MARCH +12.9 PCT (PREV +7.2 PCT)
RTRS - US APRIL HOUSING STARTS 523,000 UNIT RATE (CONSENSUS 568,000) VS MARCH 585,000 (PREV 549,000)
RTRS - US APRIL HOUSING PERMITS -4.0 PCT VS MARCH +7.5 PCT (PREV +9.6 PCT)
RTRS - US APRIL HOUSING PERMITS 551,000 UNIT RATE (CONSENSUS 585,000) VS MARCH 574,000 (PREV 585,000)
RTRS - US APRIL SINGLE-FAMILY STARTS -5.1 PCT TO 394,000 UNIT RATE; MULTIFAMILY -24.1 PCT TO 129,000 UNIT RATE
Excerpts from the Release....
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 551,000. This is 4.0 percent (±1.1%) below the revised March rate of 574,000 and is 12.8 percent (±1.2%) below the revised April 2010 estimate of 632,000.
Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 385,000; this is 1.8 percent (±1.0%) below the revised March figure of 392,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 143,000 in April.
Bouncing along the bottom....
Privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 523,000. This is 10.6 percent (±13.0%)* below the revised March estimate of 585 000 and is 23.9 percent (±7.0%) below the revised April 2010 rate of 687,000
Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 394,000; this is 5.1 percent (±10.2%)* below the revised March figure of 415,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 114,000.
Bouncing along the bottom....
Privately-owned housing completions in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 554,000. This is 4.1 percent (±15.2%)* above the revised March estimate of 532,000, but is 25.5 percent (±8.6%) below the revised April 2010 rate of 744,000.
Single-family housing completions in April were at a rate of 420,000; this is 14.4 percent (±12.8%) above the revised March figure of 367,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 118,000.
Because the New Home Sales survey is primarily based on a sample of houses selected from Building Permits data, we are able make a forward looking observation about April New Home Sales. Building Permits were down 4.0% in April, so New Home Sales should also decline in April following an 11 percent jump in March. READ MORE
Plain and Simple: Another month and another crappy housing report. And the negative feedback loop gains a little more strength. Can't fix the economy until we fix the housing market. Can't fix the housing market until we fix the housing consumer....