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Saturday, March 28, 2020
HomeNewsEconomyHousing Starts, Building Permits Beat Forecasts in January, Revised Higher for December

Housing Starts, Building Permits Beat Forecasts in January, Revised Higher for December

New residential construction, hew homes, housing starts, building permits, depicted on blueprints. (Photo: AdobeStock)

New Residential Construction Starts 2020 Strong Amid Historically High Builder Confidence

New residential construction statistics for January show housing starts and building permits both beat the high end of the forecast range. Both key housing market statistics were also revised higher for December, the U.S. Census Bureau and Housing and Urban Development reported jointly.

That strength reflects historically high builder confidence at the start of 2020, which continued into February after reaching those levels at the end of 2019.

New residential construction, hew homes, housing starts, building permits, depicted on blueprints. (Photo: AdobeStock)
New residential construction, hew homes, housing starts, building permits, depicted on blueprints. (Photo: AdobeStock)

Housing Starts

Privately‐owned housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,567,000. While that is 3.6% (±13.3%) below the upwardly revised December estimate of 1,626,000, it is 21.4% (±12.2%) above the January 2019 rate of 1,291,000.

Forecasts ranged from a low of 1,350,000 to a high of 1,480,000. The consensus forecast was 1,420,000. 

Single‐family housing starts came in at a rate of 1,010,000, which is 5.9% (±11.6%) below the revised December figure of 1,073,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 547,000.

Building Permits

Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,551,000. That is 9.2% (±2.1%) above the upwardly revised December rate of 1,420,000 and 17.9% (±1.3%) above the January 2019 rate of 1,316,000.

Forecasts ranged from a low of 1,420,000 to a high of 1,470,000. The consensus forecast was 1,453,000.

Single‐family authorizations came in at a rate of 987,000, which is 6.4% (±2.5%) above the upwardly revised December figure of 928,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 522,000 in January.

Housing Completions

Privately‐owned housing completions in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,280,000. This is 3.3% (±8.4%) below the revised December estimate of 1,323,000, but is 1.5% (±11.7%) above the January 2019 rate of 1,261,000.

There was no consensus forecast for housing completions.

Single‐family housing completions in January were at a rate of 877,000; this is 3.5% (±6.8%) below the revised December rate of 909,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 397,000.

Written by
Staff Writing Group

PPD Business, the economy-reporting arm of People's Pundit Daily, is "making sense of current events." We are a no-holds barred, news reporting pundit of, by, and for the people.

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