Housing starts rebounded in May after falling more than 9% in April but allow had another lackluster month. The US Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development report that residential units started at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.572 million, a 3.6% improvement over the revised rate (of 1.569 million) of 1.517 million in April. Housing starts are 50.3% above the May 2020 rate.
May’s results were slightly lower than expected. Analysts interviewed by Econoday had a consensus estimate of 1.630 million. The forecasts ranged from 1,500 to 1,735 million.
Single-family home construction started at an annual rate of 1.098 million, up 4.2 percent from April’s revised rate of 1.054 million and up 49.8 percent year-on-year. April housing starts were initially reported at a rate of 1.087 million. Multi-family housing starts rose 4.0% to 465,000 units and are 52.5% higher on an annual basis.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, said of the report: “Housing starts resumed in May. The trend since the start of the pandemic has been significantly higher construction of single-family houses and simple multi-family constructions.This tilt is an appropriate response, given the limited stock of single-family homes and what had been slowing the growth in apartment rents. “
On an unadjusted basis, 143,100 residential housing units were started during the month, including 100,600 single-family units. The respective numbers for April were 135,800 and 96,600.
Year-to-date (year-to-date), there have been 636,700 housing starts, 25.1% more than the 509,200 units started in the first five months of 2020. Starts Single-family home starts are up 31.2% to 452,600 and 178,300 multi-family housing starts represent 12.0%. year-over-year growth.
Residential permits were issued in May at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.681 million. This is 3.0% lower than April’s revised rate (from 1.760 million) of 1.733 million. The rate was 34.9% higher than in May of last year.
The May issue was well below the tightest projections of the month. Estimates ranged from 1,700 million to 1,780 million with a consensus of 1,738 million.
Single-family home permits fell 1.6%, from 1.148 million in April to a rate of 1.130 million, a gain of 50.1% year-over-year. The rate of issuance of permits for the construction of collective dwellings fell 7.7% to 494,000 units, but up 10.0% from the previous May.
There were 142,000 permits issued during the month, up from 157,900 in April. Single-family permits went from 107,800 to 98,700.
YTD, 709,400 permits were issued, 32.7% more than the 534,500 during the same period in 2020. Single-family permits increased by 38.4% to 482,900 and multi-family permits total 205,600 against 169 500 YTD in 2020.
Housing completion rate down 4.1% from April at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.368 million units, an improvement of 16.1 percent year over year. Single-family homes were put into service at a rate of 978,000 units, down 2.6% from the previous month but representing growth of 17.0% from the previous May. Multi-family completions fell 7.6 percent to a rate of 387,000 units.
On an unadjusted basis, 114,000 dwellings were completed during the month, including 81,400 single-family homes. Comparable figures in April were 113,000 and 79,500. YTD completions are up 12.6% to 535,800. Single-family home completions are up 13.1% and multi-family dwellings are up 13.4% to 389,500 and 144,400 units, respectively.
At the end of May, 1.324 million dwellings were under construction, including 652,000 single-family homes. The backlog of permits for which construction has not been started was 238,000, of which 142,000 were for single-family homes.
Housing starts in the Northeast fell 22.6% from its April level but was 68.6% higher than May 2020. Permits were down 7.1% for the month but were 39.3% higher on an annual basis. Completions fell 33.7% and 29.5% from the previous two periods.
the Midwest posted a 29.9 percent increase in housing starts from the previous month and an annual increase of 66.0 percent. There were 2.6 percent fewer permits issued than in April, but 29.1 percent more than in May of last year. Completions increased 9.1% and 3.8% from previous figures.
Housing starts rose 3.8% in the South and were 59.6 percent higher than 12 months earlier. Permits were down 2.3% but remained 31.7% above last May’s level and completions were up 1.1% from April and were nearly a third higher on a annual.
Housing starts improved 1.0 per cent for the month of Where is but increased 24.5% from April 2020. Permits were down 3.1% from April, but increased 44.5% from the previous May. Completions fell 14.7% from the previous month, but increased 2.2% on an annual basis.