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Housing Starts: Rebound To Start '19

March 8, 2019

Bottom Line: The delayed release of January housing starts data showed a rebound in sales in January but even slower sales in December after revisions. While multifamily sales are usually the source of most volatility, single-family sales drove the rebound, led by the strongest gains in the Northeast in 18 months. That suggests some seasonal factors were at play in January's jump. Overall, while this report was good and dampens the pace of the slowdown, the trend remains towards modestly slower housing start activity.

Housing Starts ROSE by 18.6% in January to 1230k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 1195k. Meanwhile, the prior month was revised moderately lower from 1,078k to 1,037k.

Housing starts are now 7.8% BELOW their year ago level. However, they are still a sharp 45.9% BELOW their January 2006 peak.

Single Family Housing Starts ROSE by 25.1% to 926k. Single family housing starts are 4.5% ABOVE their year ago level but still 49.2% BELOW their January 2006 peak.

Multifamily Housing Starts ROSE by 2.4% to 304k. Multifamily starts are now 32.1% BELOW their year ago level.

Article by Contingent Macro Advisors