New Residential Housing Starts Up 1.4% in December

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have now published their findings for December new residential housing starts. The latest reading of 1.702M was above the forecast of 1.650M and a 1.4% increase from the previous month's 1.678M.

Here is the opening of this morning's monthly report, including a note on revisions:

Housing Starts

Privately‐owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,702,000. This is 1.4 percent (±10.1 percent)* above the revised November estimate of 1,678,000 and is 2.5 percent (±13.8 percent)* above the December 2020 rate of 1,661,000. Single‐family housing starts in December were at a rate of 1,172,000; this is 2.3 percent (±9.8 percent)* below the revised November figure of 1,199,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 524,000.

An estimated 1,595,100 housing units were started in 2021. This is 15.6 percent (±4.0 percent) above the 2020 figure of 1,379,600. [link to report]

Here is the historical series for total privately-owned housing starts, which dates from 1959. Because of the extreme volatility of the monthly data points, a 6-month moving average has been included.