Recent Updates

  • US: GDP by Industry (Q1)
  • Canada: Retail Trade (May), CPI (Jun)
  • Thailand: Trade (Jun); China: Loans from Financial Institutions (Jun); Korea: Trade in Goods (Jun); Taiwan: Export Orders (Jun)
  • Turkey: NCI Index (Jul)
  • Turkey: Established & Liquidated (Jun-Press); Morocco: CPI, Public Finance (Jun)
  • Spain: Workers Affected by Layoffs (Apr); Foreign Trade (May)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts In 2013 Are Highest Since 2007
by Tom Moeller  January 17, 2014

It was a good year for new home builders in 2013. Housing starts of 928,000 were up 18.4% versus 2012 following that year's 28.0% rise. It was the highest level of starts since 2007. During December, however, starts backpedaled 9.8% m/m (+1.6% y/y) to 999,000 (AR) after a nearly one-third m/m increase in November. The latest level topped expectations for 985,000 starts in the Action Economics survey. Starts of single-family homes gained 15.8% last year to 621,000 but then fell 7.0% (+7.6% y/y) last month to 667,000. Starts of multi-family homes advanced by nearly one quarter last year to 306,000 then pulled back 14.9% (-8.5% y/y) to 332,000 last month.

By region, starts in the West showed the greatest strength last year with a 24.2% rise to 217,000 units. In December, starts then gained 15.0% (26.3% y/y) to a new high of 269,000. Starts in the Northeast followed with a 20.2% annual increase to 97,000 then were unchanged m/m (-21.7% y/y) at 90,000 in December. Starts in the South increased 16.3% last year to 465,000 before falling 12.3% (+6.0% y/y) last month to 493,000. The Midwest wasn't far behind last year as it posted a 16.0% annual increase to 149,000, but starts fell by one third m/m (-22.6% y/y) in December to 147,000.

Building permits increased 16.2% last year to 963,000 then declined 3.0% last month to 986,000 (+4.6% y/y). Permits to build single-family homes gained 18.2% last year to 614,000 (18.2% y/y) then slipped 4.8% m/m (+4.5% y/y) to 610,000. Permits to build multi-family units increased 12.9% to 349,000 and were unchanged m/m (+4.7% y/y).

The housing starts figures can be found in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure is contained in the AS1REPNA database.

The Fed's latest Beige Book covering regional economic conditions can be found here.

Housing Starts (000s, SAAR) Dec Nov Oct Dec Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Total 999 1,107 899 1.6 928 783 612
 Single-Family 667 717 600 7.6 621 537 434
 Multi-Family 332 390 299 -8.5 306 247 178
Starts By Region
 Northeast 90 90 119 -21.7 97 80 68
 Midwest 147 221 162 -22.6 149 128 103
 South 493 562 406 6.0 465 400 309
 West 269 234 212 26.3 217 175 132
Building Permits 986 1,017 1,039 4.6 963 829 624
close
large image