December U.S. housing starts and building permits data are out.
Starts fell 9.8% to 999,000 units at an annualized pace. November’s starts figure was revised up to 1.107 million units annualized from 1.091 million.
Building permits fell 3.0% to 986,000 units annualized. November’s permits figure was revised up to 1.017 million units annualized from 1.007 million.
The consensus estimate of market economists polled by Bloomberg was for a 9.7% decline in starts to 985,000 units annualized. For permits, the consensus estimate was for a 0.3% decline to 1.014 million units annualized.
“The December data have slightly undershot, presumably as a result of the severe weather in the second week of the month,” says Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
“Looking ahead, the dip in December permits is consistent with a further very modest decline in starts. The underlying trend in permits, which are less volatile than starts, seems now to be more or less flat, consistent with the levelling-off in the trend in new home sales. Housing’s contribution to growth is fading; something else — business capex, we hope — needs to take its place.”
Below is the full text of the release.
NEW RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION IN DECEMBER 2013
The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for December 2013:
Privately-owned housing units authorised by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 986,000. This is 3.0 per cent (±1.1%) below the revised November rate of 1,017,000, but is 4.6 per cent (±1.1%) above the December 2012 estimate of 943,000.
Single-family authorizations in December were at a rate of 610,000; this is 4.8 per cent (±1.0%) below the revised November figure of 641,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 350,000 in December.
An estimated 974,700 housing units were authorised by building permits in 2013. This is 17.5 per cent (±0.8%) above the 2012 figure of 829,700.
Privately-owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999,000. This is 9.8 per cent (±10.7%)* below the revised November estimate of 1,107,000, but is 1.6 per cent (±11.9%)* above the December 2012 rate of 983,000.
Single-family housing starts in December were at a rate of 667,000; this is 7.0 per cent (±8.9%)* below the revised November figure of 717,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 312,000.
An estimated 923,400 housing units were started in 2013. This is 18.3 per cent (±2.9%) above the 2012 figure of 780,600.
Privately-owned housing completions in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 744,000. This is 10.8 per cent (±9.9%) below the revised November estimate of 834,000, but is 10.7 per cent (±11.7%)* above the December 2012 rate of 672,000.
Single-family housing completions in December were at a rate of 550,000; this is 8.2 per cent (±10.1%)* below the revised November rate of 599,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 183,000.
An estimated 762,200 housing units were completed in 2013. This is 17.4 per cent (±3.7%) above the 2012 figure of 649,200.