We saw some mixed news relative to expectations on the housing front this morning as Housing Starts came in better than expected while Building Permits missed. Based on the absolute data, though, the date remains positive. In the case of starts, economists were forecasting a SAAR rate of 1.15 mln, but the actual level came in at 1.178 mln. That represents a 5.2% m/m increase over January when starts fell 3.4%. Building Permits came in weaker than expected, falling to a SAAR rate of 1.167 mln.
The table to the right breaks down this month’s report by the size of unit as well as region. The most encouraging trend in this table is the fact that for both starts and permits, single family units saw the strongest growth. For starts, single-family units rose to 822K to its highest level since November 2007. That represents a m/m increase of 7.2% and a y/y gain of 37%! That’s the highest y/y increase since February 2013. Single Family permits didn’t increase as much this month, but at a level of 731K, they are right near their cycle high of 732K from December.
In terms of the regional mix, starts rose in every region but the Northeast on a m/m basis. For permits, though, every region saw a decline except in the Northeast.