The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have released New Residential Construction statistics for November 2010.
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 might 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 NOV HOUSING STARTS +3.9 PCT VS OCT -11.1 PCT (PREV -11.7 PCT)
RTRS-US NOV HOUSING STARTS 555,000 UNIT RATE (CONSENSUS 550,000) VS OCT 534,000 (PREV 519,000)
RTRS-US NOV HOUSING PERMITS -4.0 PCT VS OCT +0.9 PCT (PREV +0.9 PCT)
RTRS-US NOV PERMITS 530,000 UNIT RATE (CONSENSUS 560,000) VS OCT 552,000 (PREV 552,000)
RTRS-US NOV HOUSING COMPLETIONS -14.1 PCT TO RECORD LOW 513,000 UNIT RATE VS OCT 597,000
RTRS-US NOV HOUSING PERMITS RATE LOWEST SINCE APRIL 2009 (523,000 UNITS)
Excerpts from the Release...
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000. This is 4.0 percent (±2.9%) below the revised October rate of 552,000 and is 14.7 percent (±1.7%) below the November 2009 estimate of 621,000.
Single-family authorizations in November were at a rate of 416,000; this is 3.0 percent (±1.0%) above the revised October figure of 404,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 94,000 in November.
Privately-owned housing starts in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000. This is 3.9 percent (±12.0%) above the revised October estimate of 534,000, but is 5.8 percent (±12.0%)* below the November 2009 rate of 589,000.
Single-family housing starts in November were at a rate of 465,000; this is 6.9 percent (±13.5%)* above the revised October figure of 435,000. The November rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 72,000.
Privately-owned housing completions in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 513,000. This is 14.1 percent (±10.9%) below the revised October estimate of 597,000 and is 39.6 percent (±8.6%) below the November 2009 rate of 850,000.
Single-family housing completions in November were at a rate of 436,000; this is 10.1 percent (±11.6%)* below the revised October rate of 485,000. The November rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 73,000.
I'm sorry, what were the month to month changes for Permits and Starts again? I wasn't paying attention. I couldn't stop staring at those two charts. We're just bouncing around near record low levels. Building Permits seem to be going lower and lower. Housing Starts have no trend, they're just generally depressed. Home Completions = RECORD LOW. Hmmm. That makes me think. How many incomplete homes have you seen in your area? I see scattered examples of construction funding shortages all around my neck of the woods. Seems like we'll notice a trend of rising Housing Completions before Housing Starts make any meaningful progress. EITHER THAT OR MORE OF THIS
New Residential Construction data for December 2010 will be released on Wednesday, January 19, 2011, at 8:30 A.M. EST.