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Even the Census Bureau report published today shows home starts for last month have been from estimates. The numbers seem right to me, though some are frustrated with the number of home starts lately. As I expected they show that a slow tortoise creep up.  We have had weakness in home sales which is impacting family begins.  We did have a fall in single family begins in this document.  We are not at any risk of a significant collapse in starts in 2019, Although some might think home has peaked. The number of starts need to be taken in the context of higher labor cost, gains and higher mortgage rates in existing stock, which provide homes that are less expensive in comparison with new homes. However, something has changed lately in the new housing market market which needs to be mentioned.  My guideline for the new home sales market is the next:

Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,296,000. This is 1.6 percentage (±1.2 percent) below the revised January rate of 1,317,000 and is 2.0 percentage (±1.7 percentage )

In family starts, we will need more growth in order for housing starts to develop more.  For stride in single family begins we want new home sales. I don’t subscribe that house sales are so powerful they warrant a boom in housing construction. In reality my call which housing starts won’t attain 1,500,000 this decade looks good at this time. The modest growth in home sales has to be considered in the context of the current market. We are in the longest job growth ever in U.S. history, shortly to be the greatest economic expansion , with mortgage rates largely below 5% since ancient 2011.  The housing that is slow and steady launch story will last.  The number of construction project openings are at 302,000 openings and over 7,440,000 building workers. Complete employment for construction is roughly around 300,000 projects less if housing starts were 1,000,000 units over they are now than what it had been at the summit of the housing bubble.

Building Permits
From Calculated Risk:

Housing Starts

From BLS:
Keep in mind that the tendency matters over any one report, possibly negative and positive, while this hasn’t been the best months for home starts. For the very first time in this cycle I will say that the trends do not look healthier.  Builders will help boost demand by including smaller, less costly homes in their own offerings and provide discounting.   Demand doesn’t have to go to continue the continuous and slow housing expansion that we have been seeing. For 2019, I’ll be interested to see if supply stays under 6.5 months and we could get sales back to the 640,000 level.  My forecasts for new house sales and housing starts have never been negative. I consistently predicted low but steady expansion but for me to find confident back in my slow and constant growth calls I need to realize a clear sales tendency of 640,000 and adjustments verified and monthly return back down under 6.5 weeks.

By Census:
Logan Mohtashami is a financial writer and blogger covering the U.S. economy with a specialization in the home industry.  Logan Mohtashami is currently a loan officer at AMC Lending Group,  that has been providing mortgage services for California taxpayers.  Logan also monitors all economic data  every day on his facebook page
Recently we needed a strong new house sales report demonstrating better revisions on monthly distribution and new home sales. More on that here and we have another brand new house earnings report upcoming this week

From Fred:

Below the February 2018 speed of 1,323,000. Single‐family authorizations in February were at a rate of 821,000; that can be 0.0 percent (±0.7 percentage )* below the revised January figure of 821,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were in a rate of 439,000 in February.

From Fred:

That is 8.7 percent (±10.3

By Fred:
” If monthly distribution breaks over 6.5 months and the earnings trend is negative, year over year, then we may have an issue”
At this phase of the economic cycle is starting to fade off. The home begins sector needs new home sales to get not as monthly supply and growth.
Single family starts actually showed some weakness lately but snapped backed in the report to just return again. This data line has become more wild than ordinary so lets wait to get a few tendencies before making too much of any one print.

Percent)* below the revised January estimate of 1,273,000 and is 9.9 percentage (±11.5 percent)* under the February 2018 rate of
1,290,000. Single‐family housing starts in February were at a speed of 805,000; this is 17.0 percent (±11.2 percent) below the
revised January figure of 970,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 352,000.

From Doug Short: