U.S. Housing Starts Improve in February
- Multi-family starts surge; single-family rise moderately.
- Starts are mixed across the country.
- Building permits surge, also powered by multi-family.
Total housing starts increased 9.8% (-18.4% y/y) during February to 1.450 million units (SAAR) from 1.321 million in January, revised from 1.309 million. The increase followed declines in six of the prior seven months. They remained 19.7% below the April 2022 peak of 1.805 million units. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 1.319 million starts in February.
The increase in total starts last month was powered by a 24.0% rise (9.9% y/y) in multi-family starts to 620,000, bringing them to the highest level since April 2022. The gain followed a 7.1% January increase. Single-family starts rose 1.1% (-31.6% y/y) to 830,000 after falling 6.8% in January. They remained 36.5% below the December 2020 peak.
Starts in the Northeast fell 16.5% (-20.9% y/y) to 106,000 after falling 36.2% in January. Starts in the Midwest surged 70.3% (-14.1% y/y) to 201,000, following two months of decline as multi-family starts jumped. Starts in the South increased 2.2% (-20.3% y/y) to 796,000 following a 9.6% January rise. Starts in the West rose 16.8% (-15.4% y/y) to 347,000, also reflecting strength in the multi-family sector
Building permits rose 13.8% (-17.9% y/y) to 1.524 million units during February from an unrevised 1.339 million in January. Multi-family permits rose 21.1% (14.4% y/y) to 747,000 after a 1.8% January increase. Single-family permits gained 7.6% (-35.5% y/y) to 777,000 after falling for eleven consecutive months.
The housing starts and permits figures can be found in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure is contained in the AS1REPNA database.
Tom MoellerAuthorMore in Author Profile »
Prior to joining Haver Analytics in 2000, Mr. Moeller worked as the Economist at Chancellor Capital Management from 1985 to 1999. There, he developed comprehensive economic forecasts and interpreted economic data for equity and fixed income portfolio managers. Also at Chancellor, Mr. Moeller worked as an equity analyst and was responsible for researching and rating companies in the economically sensitive automobile and housing industries for investment in Chancellor’s equity portfolio. Prior to joining Chancellor, Mr. Moeller was an Economist at Citibank from 1979 to 1984. He also analyzed pricing behavior in the metals industry for the Council on Wage and Price Stability in Washington, D.C. In 1999, Mr. Moeller received the award for most accurate forecast from the Forecasters' Club of New York. From 1990 to 1992 he was President of the New York Association for Business Economists. Mr. Moeller earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, where he graduated in 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from George Washington University.