New Residential Housing Starts Down 14% in May

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have now published their findings for May new residential housing starts. The latest reading of 1.549M was below the forecast of 1.701M and a 14.4% decrease from the previous month's 1.810M.

Here is the opening of this morning's monthly report:

Housing Starts

Privately‐owned housing starts in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,549,000. This is 14.4 percent (±8.9 percent) below the revised April estimate of 1,810,000 and is 3.5 percent (±10.7 percent)* below the May 2021 rate of 1,605,000. Single‐family housing starts in May were at a rate of 1,051,000; this is 9.2 percent (±11.0 percent)* below the revised April figure of 1,157,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 469,000. [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.