Total US housing starts posted an -8.7% decrease in February, to 1.162 million units, compared to an upwardly revised January estimate of 1.273 million units, according to the joint data release Tuesday from the US Census Bureau and HUD. Relative to February 2018, total starts are -9.9% below the annual pace of 1.29 million units.
The rate of single-family starts, which are built entirely of lumber products, posted a monthly decline in February, decreasing -17% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 805,000. January single-family starts were revised up to 970,000 units, which is a post-recession high. The three month moving average for single-family in February is 863,000 units. The January surge reflected an increase after weakness and caution in the Fall of 2018.
Be ahead of these data releases! Don’t delay, this week’s softwood lumber market comment was published to the website Monday morning.
Madison’s Lumber Prices, weekly, are a good forecast indicator of US home builder’s current lumber buying activity ——> DETAILS
US Building Permits: February 2019
Single-family permits were flat at 821,000 units in February and have registered a -7.3% reduction thus far in 2019 compared to last year. This is in line with the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, which held builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes steady at 62 in March but remains lower on a year-over-year basis.
Single-family starts decreased in February, and were down -11% year-over-year. — Calculated Risk