Housing starts climb in February

Permits decline but are well above the same period a year ago.
a large brick building

Housing starts rebounded in February despite the residential construction industry facing rising mortgage rates, higher material costs, and supply chain issues.

Privately‐owned housing starts in February climbed 6.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.769 million. That's above the revised January estimate of 1.657 million, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Thursday morning.

The latest Monthly New Residential Construction report also shows starts are 22.3% above the February 2021 rate of 1.447 million.

Single-family starts increased 5.7% to a rate of 1.215 million compared to the revised January rate of 1.150 million

Housing permits slipped in February, however, with total permits dropping 1.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.859 million in comparison to the revised January rate of 1.895 million. But permits are 7.7% above the February 2021 rate of 1.726 million.

Single-family authorizations were at a rate of 1.20 million, slipping 0.5% below the revised January rate of 1.213 million. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 597,000 in February. 

Yesterday, the National Association of Home Builders reported that builder confidence fell for the fourth-straight month according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).

Feb starts

Here's how February housing metrics performed on a regional basis on a month-over-month basis:

  • In the Northeast, total starts jumped 28.7% as single-family starts soared by 65.3%. Combined permits in the Northeast increased 22.7% as single-family permits saw 4.2% growth.
  • In the Midwest, total starts were up 5.6% as single-family starts increased  5.6%. Total permits fell 8.4% and single-family permits were down 5.6%. 
  • Combined starts in the South grew 11.5% as single-family starts moved ahead 11.4%. While overall permits decreased 5.5%, single-family permits edged up by 1.3%.
  • Total starts in the West fell 11.4% as single-family starts declined by 3%. Combined permits in the West saw a 2.1% increase but single-family permits decreased 3%.


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