Housing Starts, Sales, and Inventory

  • Housing Starts, Sales, and Inventory

    New home inventories rise and sales fall in August

    - by Tom Sanderson

    New home inventories rise and sales fall in August

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, single-family new home inventories increased to 284k in August (seasonally adjusted). Absolute inventories are at the highest level since May 2009. August’s new home inventories were 43k (17.8%) above the prior-year level of 241k. New home inventories are closing in on longer run average inventory levels (~340k).

    The growth in inventories in the last year (seasonally adjusted) has been driven by homes under construction (+24K) and homes not yet started (+15k), more so than by homes completed (+3k).

    New home inventories increased slowly during the first 9 months of 2016, from 237k in January to 242k in September, but then jumped to 256k by December, an increase of 19k from January. In 2015, inventories rose 27k; from 207k in January to 234k in December. The last year of flat inventories was 2012, when the absolute inventory of new homes remained within a consistent range of 142k – 150k.

    Seasonally adjusted new home inventories increased to 6.1 months of supply in August, from 5.7 months in July and 5.1 months in August 2016. Inventories have not been this high since August 2014. Sales of new single-family houses fell to 560k (seasonally adjusted annual rate), down 3.4% from revised prior month sales and down 1.2% from prior year. Full-year 2016 sales of 561k were up 12.0% from 501k in 2015. Year-to-date 2017 sales are up 7.5%

    Full year 2015 new home sales were up 14.6% over 2014. For the full year 2014, new home sales only grew by 1.9% to 437k units. The months of supply figure remained below 5 months between February 2012 and June 2013, but was 5.0 or more from that point through the end of 2014 with only one exception. In 2015, eight months were at 5.0 or greater months of supply, including each of the last 7 months of the year. In 2016, only one month (July) was less than 5.0 and this year every month has seen 5 or more months of supply on the market. The average months of supply over the last 50 years is 6.1, so current new home inventory are at “normal” levels. For the 9-year period of 1997 through 2005, the inventory level averaged 4.1 months with relatively little volatility, despite the dot-com boom and subsequent recession, and we are well above that level today.  The vertical bars in the graphs represent recessions.

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  • Housing Starts, Sales, and Inventory

    Single family housing starts continue to outpace multi-unit starts

    - by Tom Sanderson

    Single family housing starts continue to outpace multi-unit starts

    Housing starts totaled 1.180 million in August (seasonally adjusted annual rate – SAAR) down 0.8% from prior month’s revised figures, and up 1.4% from August 2016 results, and were above expected levels. Single family starts totaled 851k (SAAR), up 1.6% from July and up 17.1% year-over-year. Starts of multi-unit (5+)structures were 323k (SAAR) down 5.8% from July and down 23.1% over prior year. Year-to-date starts are up 2.7%, with single family starts up 8.9% and 5+ unit starts down 9.7%.

    For the full year 2016, total starts were 1.174 million, up 5.6% over 2015. Single unit starts led the way with 9.4% growth, while multi-unit starts declined by 1.3%. In the prior couple of years single-unit starts grew more slowly than multi-unit starts. For the full year 2015, total starts were 1.112 million, up 10.8% over 2014. Single unit starts were up 10.3% in 2015, while 5+ unit starts were up 12.9%. For the full year 2014, there were 1.003 million total housing starts, up 8.8% from the 925 thousand starts during 2013. Single family starts were up 4.9% and multifamily starts were up 16.4%. Total 2013 housing starts were up a robust 18.5% from the 781k housing starts recorded in 2012 and in 2012 starts were up 28.2%.

    Despite several years of strong growth, there remains a lot of ground to cover for the housing sector to fully recover from the recession. Housing starts are still well below the average of just over 1.5 million per year over the last 40+ years, and even farther below the 2.2 million peak of the most recent housing boom. Since 1968, the U.S. population has grown from 200 million to more than 320 million. Some economists believe that slower population growth and household formation in the U.S. means that housing starts will not recover to 1.5 million units for a long time.

    Total starts reached a low point of 478k (SAAR) in April of 2009, while single unit starts bottomed out at 353k in March of 2009. A low housing starts figure not only impacts transportation demand for building products but also for appliances, furniture, and other related items, so continued improvement in the housing sector should lead to rising freight volumes. The ATA estimates that each housing start generates 8 truckloads of freight.

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  • Housing Starts, Sales, and Inventory

    New home inventories continue to rise, but sales remain strong also

    - by Tom Sanderson

    New home inventories continue to rise, but sales remain strong also

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, single-family new home inventories increased to 272k in June (seasonally adjusted). Inventories are at the highest level since June 2009. June’s new home inventories were 29k (11.9%) above the prior-year level of 243k. New home inventories still remain somewhat low by historical standards, but are closing in on longer run average inventory levels (~340k).

    The growth in inventories in the last year (seasonally adjusted) has been driven by homes not yet started (+14k), more so than by homes under construction (+8K) or homes completed (+7k).

    New home inventories increased slowly during the first 9 months of 2016, from 237k in January to 242k in September, but then jumped to 256k by December, an increase of 19k from January. In 2015, inventories rose 27k; from 207k in January to 234k in December. Inventory levels increased 23k throughout 2014, peaking at 212k in December, and rose 38k in 2013, to 187k by December. The last year of flat inventories was 2012, when the absolute inventory of new homes remained within a consistent range of 142k – 150k.

    Seasonally adjusted new home inventories increased slightly to 5.4 months of supply in May, and were also up just slightly from from 5.2 months a year ago. Sales of new single-family houses increased to 610k (seasonally adjusted annual rate), up 0.8% from revised prior month sales and up 9.1% from prior year. Year-to-date 2017 sales are up 10.9%. Full-year 2016 sales of 561k were up 12.0% from 501k in 2015.

    Full year 2015 new home sales were up 14.6% over 2014. For the full year 2014, new home sales only grew by 1.9% to 437k units. The months of supply figure remained below 5 months between February 2012 and June 2013, but was 5.0 or more from that point through the end of 2014 with only one exception. In 2015, eight months were at 5.0 or greater months of supply, including each of the last 7 months of the year. In 2016, only one month (July) was less than 5.0 and so far this year every month has had at least 5 months of supply on the market. The average months of supply over the last 50 years is 6.1, so current new home inventory remain below “normal” levels. For the 9-year period of 1997 through 2005, the inventory level averaged 4.1 months with relatively little volatility, despite the dot-com boom and subsequent recession, and we are above that level today.  The vertical bars in the graphs represent recessions.

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  • Housing Starts, Sales, and Inventory

    June housing starts bounce back from weak May results

    - by Tom Sanderson

    June housing starts bounce back from weak May results

    Housing starts totaled 1.215 million in June (seasonally adjusted annual rate – SAAR) up 8.3% from prior month’s revised figures, and up 2.1% from June 2016 results, and were above expected levels. Single family starts totaled 849k (SAAR), up 6.3% from May and up 10.3% year-over-year. Starts of multi-unit (5+)structures were 359k (SAAR) up 15.4% from May but down 10.7% over prior year. Total starts exceeded a 1.0 million unit annual pace for the 27th straight month. Year-to-date starts are up 3.9%, with single family starts up 7.2% and 5+ unit starts down 4.2%.

    For the full year 2016, total starts were 1.174 million, up 5.6% over 2015. Single unit starts led the way with 9.4% growth, while multi-unit starts declined by 1.3%. In the prior couple of years single-unit starts grew more slowly than multi-unit starts. For the full year 2015, total starts were 1.112 million, up 10.8% over 2014. Single unit starts were up 10.3% in 2015, while 5+ unit starts were up 12.9%. For the full year 2014, there were 1.003 million total housing starts, up 8.8% from the 925 thousand starts during 2013. Single family starts were up 4.9% and multifamily starts were up 16.4%. Total 2013 housing starts were up a robust 18.5% from the 781k housing starts recorded in 2012 and in 2012 starts were up 28.2%.

    Despite several years of strong growth, there remains a lot of ground to cover for the housing sector to fully recover from the recession. Housing starts are still well below the average of just over 1.5 million per year over the last 40+ years, and even farther below the 2.2 million peak of the most recent housing boom. Since 1968, the U.S. population has grown from 200 million to more than 320 million. Some economists believe that slower population growth and household formation in the U.S. means that housing starts will not recover to 1.5 million units for a long time.

    Total starts reached a low point of 478k (SAAR) in April of 2009, while single unit starts bottomed out at 353k in March of 2009. A low housing starts figure not only impacts transportation demand for building products but also for appliances, furniture, and other related items, so continued improvement in the housing sector should lead to rising freight volumes. The ATA estimates that each housing start generates 8 truckloads of freight.

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  • Housing Starts, Sales, and Inventory

    New home inventories inch up despite strong sales

    - by Tom Sanderson

    New home inventories inch up despite strong sales

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, single-family new home inventories increased to 268k in May (seasonally adjusted). Inventories are at the highest level since July 2009. May’s new home inventories were 27k (11.2%) above the prior-year level of 241k. New home inventories still remain somewhat low by historical standards, but are closing in on longer run average inventory levels (~340k).

    The growth in inventories in the last year (seasonally adjusted) has been driven by homes not yet started (+16k), more so than by homes under construction (+8K) or homes completed (+3k).

    New home inventories increased slowly during the first 9 months of 2016, from 237k in January to 242k in September, but then jumped to 256k by December, an increase of 19k from January. In 2015, inventories rose 27k; from 207k in January to 234k in December. Inventory levels increased 23k throughout 2014, peaking at 212k in December, and rose 38k in 2013, to 187k by December. The last year of flat inventories was 2012, when the absolute inventory of new homes remained within a consistent range of 142k – 150k.

    Seasonally adjusted new home inventories held steady at 5.3 months of supply in May, but were up just slightly from from 5.2 months a year ago. Sales of new single-family houses increased to 610k (seasonally adjusted annual rate), up 2.9% from revised prior month sales and up 8.9% from prior year. Full-year 2016 sales of 561k were up 12.0% from 501k in 2015. Year-to-date 2017 sales are up 12.2%

    Full year 2015 new home sales were up 14.6% over 2014. For the full year 2014, new home sales only grew by 1.9% to 437k units. The months of supply figure remained below 5 months between February 2012 and June 2013, but was 5.0 or more from that point through the end of 2014 with only one exception. In 2015, eight months were at 5.0 or greater months of supply, including each of the last 7 months of the year. In 2016, only one month (July) was less than 5.0 and so far this year only March had fewer than 5 months of supply on the market. The average months of supply over the last 50 years is 6.1, so current new home inventory remain below “normal” levels. For the 9-year period of 1997 through 2005, the inventory level averaged 4.1 months with relatively little volatility, despite the dot-com boom and subsequent recession, and we are above that level today.  The vertical bars in the graphs represent recessions.

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  • Housing Starts, Sales, and Inventory

    Housing starts were very weak in May

    - by Tom Sanderson

    Housing starts were very weak in May

    Housing starts totaled 1.092 million in May (seasonally adjusted annual rate – SAAR) down 5.5% from prior month’s revised figures, and down 2.4% from May 2016 results, and were below expected levels. Single family starts totaled 794k (SAAR), down 3.9% from April but up 8.5% year-over-year. Starts of multi-unit (5+)structures were 284k (SAAR) down 9.8% from April and down 25.7% over prior year. Total starts exceeded a 1.0 million unit annual pace for the 26th straight month, but fell below a 1.1 million unit pace for the first time since September. Year-to-date starts are up 3.2%, with single family starts up 7.2% and 5+ unit starts down 5.4%.

    For the full year 2016, total starts were 1.174 million, up 5.6% over 2015. Single unit starts led the way with 9.4% growth, while multi-unit starts declined by 1.3%. In the prior couple of years single-unit starts grew more slowly than multi-unit starts. For the full year 2015, total starts were 1.112 million, up 10.8% over 2014. Single unit starts were up 10.3% in 2015, while 5+ unit starts were up 12.9%. For the full year 2014, there were 1.003 million total housing starts, up 8.8% from the 925 thousand starts during 2013. Single family starts were up 4.9% and multifamily starts were up 16.4%. Total 2013 housing starts were up a robust 18.5% from the 781k housing starts recorded in 2012 and in 2012 starts were up 28.2%.

    Despite several years of strong growth, there remains a lot of ground to cover for the housing sector to fully recover from the recession. Housing starts are still well below the average of just over 1.5 million per year over the last 40+ years, and even farther below the 2.2 million peak of the most recent housing boom. Since 1968, the U.S. population has grown from 200 million to more than 320 million. Some economists believe that slower population growth and household formation in the U.S. means that housing starts will not recover to 1.5 million units for a long time.

    Total starts reached a low point of 478k (SAAR) in April of 2009, while single unit starts bottomed out at 353k in March of 2009. A low housing starts figure not only impacts transportation demand for building products but also for appliances, furniture, and other related items, so continued improvement in the housing sector should lead to rising freight volumes. The ATA estimates that each housing start generates 8 truckloads of freight.

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  • Housing Starts, Sales, and Inventory

    New home inventories rise and sales fall in April

    - by Tom Sanderson

    New home inventories rise and sales fall in April

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, single-family new home inventories increased to 268k in April (seasonally adjusted). Inventories are at the highest level since July 2009. April’s new home inventories were 27k (11.2%) above the prior-year level of 241k. New home inventories still remain somewhat low by historical standards, but are closing in on longer run average inventory levels (~340k).

    The growth in inventories in the last year (seasonally adjusted) has been driven by homes not yet started (+16k), more so than by homes under construction (+10K) or homes completed (+1k).

    New home inventories increased slowly during the first 9 months of 2016, from 237k in January to 242k in September, but then jumped to 256k by December, an increase of 19k from January. In 2015, inventories rose 27k; from 207k in January to 234k in December. Inventory levels increased 23k throughout 2014, peaking at 212k in December, and rose 38k in 2013, to 187k by December. The last year of flat inventories was 2012, when the absolute inventory of new homes remained within a consistent range of 142k – 150k.

    Seasonally adjusted new home inventories increased to 5.7 months of supply in April, up from from 5.1 months a year ago. Sales of new single-family houses decreased to 569k (seasonally adjusted annual rate), down 11.4% from revised prior month sales and up 0.5% from prior year. Full-year 2016 sales of 561k were up 12.0% from 501k in 2015. Year-to-date 2017 sales are up 11.3%

    Full year 2015 new home sales were up 14.6% over 2014. For the full year 2014, new home sales only grew by 1.9% to 437k units. The months of supply figure remained below 5 months between February 2012 and June 2013, but was 5.0 or more from that point through the end of 2014 with only one exception. In 2015, eight months were at 5.0 or greater months of supply, including each of the last 7 months of the year. In 2016, only one month (July) was less than 5.0. The average months of supply over the last 50 years is 6.1, so current new home inventory remain below “normal” levels. For the 9-year period of 1997 through 2005, the inventory level averaged 4.1 months with relatively little volatility, despite the dot-com boom and subsequent recession, and we are above that level today.  The vertical bars in the graphs represent recessions.

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  • Housing Starts, Sales, and Inventory

    Housing starts down in April due to multi-family drop

    - by Tom Sanderson

    Housing starts down in April due to multi-family drop

    Housing starts totaled 1.172 million in April (seasonally adjusted annual rate – SAAR) down 2.6% from prior month’s revised figures, but up 0.7% from April 2016 results, and were below expected levels. Single family starts totaled 835k (SAAR), down 0.4% from March and up 8.9% year-over-year. Starts of multi-unit (5+)structures were 328k (SAAR) down 9.6% from March and down 14.6% over prior year. Total starts exceeded a 1.0 million unit annual pace for the 25rd straight month. Year-to-date starts are up 5.3%

    For the full year 2016, total starts were 1.174 million, up 5.6% over 2015. Single unit starts led the way with 9.4% growth, while multi-unit starts declined by 1.3%. In the prior couple of years single-unit starts grew more slowly than multi-unit starts. For the full year 2015, total starts were 1.112 million, up 10.8% over 2014. Single unit starts were up 10.3% in 2015, while 5+ unit starts were up 12.9%. For the full year 2014, there were 1.003 million total housing starts, up 8.8% from the 925 thousand starts during 2013. Single family starts were up 4.9% and multifamily starts were up 16.4%. Total 2013 housing starts were up a robust 18.5% from the 781k housing starts recorded in 2012 and in 2012 starts were up 28.2%.

    Despite several years of strong growth, there remains a lot of ground to cover for the housing sector to fully recover from the recession. Housing starts are still well below the average of just over 1.5 million per year over the last 40+ years, and even farther below the 2.2 million peak of the most recent housing boom. Since 1968, the U.S. population has grown from 200 million to more than 320 million. Some economists believe that slower population growth and household formation in the U.S. means that housing starts will not recover to 1.5 million units for a long time.

    Total starts reached a low point of 478k (SAAR) in April of 2009, while single unit starts bottomed out at 353k in March of 2009. A low housing starts figure not only impacts transportation demand for building products but also for appliances, furniture, and other related items, so continued improvement in the housing sector should lead to rising freight volumes. The ATA estimates that each housing start generates 8 truckloads of freight.

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  • Housing Starts, Sales, and Inventory

    Housing starts decline in March

    - by Tom Sanderson

    Housing starts decline in March

    Housing starts totaled 1.215 million in March (seasonally adjusted annual rate – SAAR) down 6.8% from prior month’s revised figures, but up 9.2% from March 2016 results, and were below expected levels. Single family starts totaled 821k (SAAR), down 6.2% from February and up 9.3% year-over-year. Starts of multi-unit (5+)structures were 385k (SAAR) down 6.1% from February but up 9.1% over prior year. Total starts exceeded a 1.0 million unit annual pace for the 24rd straight month. Year-to-date starts are up 8.1%

    For the full year 2016, total starts were 1.174 million, up 5.6% over 2015. Single unit starts led the way with 9.4% growth, while multi-unit starts declined by 1.3%. In the prior couple of years single-unit starts grew more slowly than multi-unit starts. For the full year 2015, total starts were 1.112 million, up 10.8% over 2014. Single unit starts were up 10.3% in 2015, while 5+ unit starts were up 12.9%. For the full year 2014, there were 1.003 million total housing starts, up 8.8% from the 925 thousand starts during 2013. Single family starts were up 4.9% and multifamily starts were up 16.4%. Total 2013 housing starts were up a robust 18.5% from the 781k housing starts recorded in 2012 and in 2012 starts were up 28.2%.

    There remains a lot of ground to cover for the housing sector to fully recover from the recession. Housing starts are still well below the average of just over 1.5 million per year over the last 40+ years, and even farther below the 2.2 million peak of the most recent housing boom. Since 1968, the U.S. population has grown from 200 million to more than 320 million. Some economists believe that slower population growth and household formation in the U.S. means that housing starts will not recover to 1.5 million units for a long time.

    Total starts reached a low point of 478k (SAAR) in April of 2009, while single unit starts bottomed out at 353k in March of 2009. A low housing starts figure not only impacts transportation demand for building products but also for appliances, furniture, and other related items, so continued improvement in the housing sector should lead to rising freight volumes. The ATA estimates that each housing start generates 8 truckloads of freight.

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  • Housing Starts, Sales, and Inventory

    New home absolute inventories up, but strong sales reduce months of supply

    - by Tom Sanderson

    New home absolute inventories up, but strong sales reduce months of supply

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, single-family new home inventories increased to 268k in March (seasonally adjusted). Inventories are now at the highest level since July 2009. March’s new home inventories were 24k (9.8%) above the prior-year level of 244k. New home inventories still remain somewhat low by historical standards, but are closing in on longer run average inventory levels (~340k).

    The growth in inventories in the last year (seasonally adjusted) has been driven by homes not yet started (+17k), more so than by homes under construction (+4K) or homes completed (+3k).

    New home inventories increased slowly during the first 9 months of 2016, from 239k in January to 242k in September, but then jumped to 256k by December, an increase of 17k from January. In 2015, inventories rose 27k; from 208k in January to 235k in December. Inventory levels increased 23k throughout 2014, peaking at 212k in December, and rose 38k in 2013, to 187k by December. The last year of flat inventories was 2012, when the absolute inventory of new homes remained within a consistent range of 142k – 150k.

    Seasonally adjusted new home inventories dropped to 5.2 months of supply in March, down slightly from from 5.5 months a year ago. Sales of new single-family houses increased to 621k (seasonally adjusted annual rate), up 5.8% from revised prior month sales and up 15.6% from prior year. Full-year 2016 sales of 561k were up 12.0% from 501k in 2015.

    Full year 2015 new home sales were up 14.6% over 2014. For the full year 2014, new home sales only grew by 1.9% to 437k units. The months of supply figure remained below 5 months between February 2012 and June 2013, but was 5.0 or more from that point through the end of 2014 with only one exception. In 2015, eight months were at 5.0 or greater months of supply, including each of the last 7 months of the year. In 2016, only one month (July) was less than 5.0. The average months of supply over the last 50 years is 6.1, so current new home inventory remain below “normal” levels. For the 9-year period of 1997 through 2005, the inventory level averaged 4.1 months with relatively little volatility, despite the dot-com boom and subsequent recession, and we are above that level today.  The vertical bars in the graphs represent recessions.

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