Housing starts cooled in February after robust January

Housing starts dropped 2.6 percent on a month-over-month basis in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.246 million units, primarily due to a 10.2 percent plunge in the multifamily sector, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Single-family starts, on the other hand, rose 1.9 percent month-over-month to 823,000 units.

Trend to watch: retail sales have been choppy throughout the early months of the year, with gains in January and March followed by declines in February and April. monthly increase in housing starts.

Thermohouse Rapid Build Housing Development: Timelapse January - February 2019 U.S. new-home construction cooled by more than expected in February on a reversal in the volatile multifamily category, while building remained on pace to contribute to economic growth this quarter, government figures showed Friday, March 16. Residential starts fell 7% to a 1.24 million annualized rate after a 1.33 million pace in the prior month.

Housing starts fell 0.9% in May to 1,269 thousand after having jumped jumped 6.8% in April and 4.4% in March. Because these data are particularly volatile on a month-to-month basis, it is best to look at a 3-month moving average of starts (which is the series shown above).

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improvement in housing activity, dragged upward by strengthening economic and labor market fundamentals, rather than a breakout year for the industry. Housing starts cooled in January after reaching an expansion-best pace in December, and builder confidence softened in February to a four-month low.

New-home construction rose by more than forecast in March on a rebound in multifamily starts, giving a boost to first-quarter economic growth, government figures showed april 17.

Housing starts reached a 12-year-high annual rate of 1.820 million in January. "If it got any better, we would be in heaven," said Robert Toll, chairman and chief executive officer at Toll.

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For January, that is. The trend in housing starts was 224,865 units in January 2018, compared to 226,346 units in December 2017, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

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The median price of a previously owned home sold in February was 7.7 percent higher than it was 12 months ago. In comparison, after-tax household incomes, adjusted for inflation, were up just 2.