Housing starts fall for first time since August

Single-family housing starts were down 12% from December

National /
Feb.February 18, 2021 12:10 PM
(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Housing starts fell in January, marking the first time since August that there hasn’t been month-over-month growth in residential construction.

Privately owned housing starts dropped to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.58 million, down 6 percent from December’s revised rate of 1.68 million, according to the Census Bureau’s monthly report. December was the strongest month for residential construction since 2006.

Starts for single-family homes fared worse, with an adjusted rate of 1.16 million, down 12 percent from December’s revised rate of 1.3 million.

January housing starts were also down 2.3 percent year-over-year; the revised rate of starts at the beginning of 2020 was 1.6 million.

The declines come as home and lumber prices are rising, potentially indicating waning demand from homebuyers who may be priced out of the market. But homebuilder sentiment ticked up in February after two months of declines, a signal that strong demand remains among prospective buyers.

On the bright side, the rate of building permits issued ticked up significantly in January, an indicator of future starts. The seasonally-adjusted rate of permits issued last month was 1.88 million, up more than 10 percent compared to the revised December rate of 1.7 million. January’s issuance is up 22 percent compared to the same time last year.

The rate of housing completions last month also slipped to a seasonally adjusted 1.3 million, about 2 percent down from December’s revised rate. The rate of single-family completions, however, jumped to more than 1 million, up 10 percent from the previous month’s revised rate of 942,000.

Overall, the housing completion rate was up 2 percent year-over-year last month, compared to January 2020, though the number of homes available to purchase remain at historically low levels.





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Single-family home sales inched upward in August
    Single-family home sales inched upward in August
    Single-family home sales inched upward in August
    Phase out of flood insurance subsidies could upend coastal real estate markets
    Phase out of flood insurance subsidies could upend coastal real estate markets
    Phase out of flood insurance subsidies could upend coastal real estate markets
    Nearly 100K homes sold across UK in August ahead of tax break expiration
    Nearly 100K homes sold across UK in August ahead of tax break expiration
    Nearly 100K homes sold across UK in August ahead of tax break expiration
    One of the many listing photos with dolls for the New Orleans house (NOLA Living Realty)
    Creepy dolls helped sell this New Orleans home super fast
    Creepy dolls helped sell this New Orleans home super fast
    Sculpture artist Robert Hooke’s Sag Harbor home lists for $10M
    Sculpture artist Robert Hooke’s Sag Harbor home lists for $10M
    Sculpture artist Robert Hooke’s Sag Harbor home lists for $10M
     An industry report says that mortgage lenders and investors are ill-prepared for the growing challenge of climate risk. (iStock)
    Mortgage market stakeholders are unprepared for growing climate change threats
    Mortgage market stakeholders are unprepared for growing climate change threats
    Macklowe Properties CEO Harry Macklowe, CIM Group Co-Founder Richard Ressler and 432 Park Avenue (Getty, CIM)
    432 Park Avenue residents sue developers for $250M
    432 Park Avenue residents sue developers for $250M
    US household real estate values jump by record $1.2T
    US household real estate values jump by record $1.2T
    US household real estate values jump by record $1.2T
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...