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Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts and Building Permits Decline
by Tom Moeller  September 18, 2014

Housing starts during August slumped 14.4% to 956,000 AR (+8.0% y/y) following a 22.9% July jump to 1,117,000, revised from 1,093,000. The latest level missed expectations for 1,035,000 starts in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Last month's decline reflected a 31.7% slump (+16.8% y/y) in starts of multi-family homes following a sharp recovery in July. Starts of single-family homes fell 2.4% (+4.2% y/y) following an 11.1% July jump.

Starts in the West retreated 24.7% (+3.6% y/y) to 204,000 while starts in the Northeast were off 12.9% (+24.7% y/y) to 121,000. Starts in the South declined 10.9% (+7.5% y/y) to 474,000 while starts in the Midwest fell 10.3% (+4.7% y/y) to 157,000.

Building permits retreated 5.6% (+5.3% y/y) following an 8.6% rise. The decline was led by a 12.7% drop (+17.4% y/y) in multi-family permits. Permits to build single-family homes slipped 0.8% (-0.8% y/y), about the same as they did in July.

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

The statement which came with yesterday's FOMC meeting can be found here.

Housing Starts (000s, SAAR) Aug Jul Jun Aug Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total 956 1,117 909 8.0 930 784 612
 Single-Family 643 659 593 4.2 621 537 434
 Multi-Family 313 458 316 16.8 309 247 178
Starts By Region
 Northeast 121 139 95 24.7 96 80 68
 Midwest 157 175 196 4.7 149 128 103
 South 474 532 392 7.5 467 400 309
 West 204 271 226 3.6 217 175 132
Building Permits 998 1,057 973 5.3 990 829 624
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