2018 Economic Calendar
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Housing Starts  
Released On 3/16/2018 8:30:00 AM For Feb, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Starts - Level - SAAR1.326 M1.329 M1.285 M1.256 M to 1.322 M1.236 M
Permits - Level - SAAR1.396 M1.377 M1.322 M1.300 M to 1.392 M1.298 M

Highlights
Home sales turned lower in January as did housing starts and permits in February, and noticeably so. Housing starts fell 7.0 percent in the month to a much lower-than-expected annualized rate of 1.236 million while building permits fell 5.7 percent to 1.298 million which is also much lower than expected.

Single-family homes are the key component in this report and permits fell 0.6 percent to an 872,000 rate. Year-on-year growth remains in the mid-single digits but is now under 5 percent at 4.6 percent. In a positive, single-family starts, which are key to restocking the new home market, rose 2.9 percent to a 902,000 rate which is up 2.9 percent from this time last year. And single-family completions rose 3.0 percent in the month to 895,000 and will offer immediate supply to the market.

Multi-family permits fell 14.8 percent but at a 426,000 rate are still up 10.6 percent year-on-year. Starts, however, fell 26.1 percent to 334,000 and are down a yearly 18.7 percent. Completions here are also positive, up 19.4 percent to a 424,000 rate.

Besides completions, another positive is homes under construction, up fractionally to 1.115 million which is a new expansion high. But the bulk of this report is unexpectedly soft and confirms that the housing sector, despite strong year-end momentum and a very strong jobs market, opened 2018 on the defense, getting no help from rising mortgage rates which are at 4 year highs.

Consensus Outlook
Less strength is the expectation for February housing starts where the consensus is a 1.285 million annualized rate vs January's 1.326 million, as well as for housing permits, at a consensus 1.322 million rate vs 1.377 million. Starts and permits both surged in January led by the key single-family component. Note that the consensus ranges for both are wide.

Definition
A housing start is registered at the start of construction of a new building intended primarily as a residential building. The start of construction is defined as the beginning of excavation of the foundation for the building.  Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
Monthly figures are often volatile housing starts fluctuate more than many indicators. It takes several months for total housing starts to establish a trend. Consequently, we have depicted total starts relative to a five month moving average.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 
 

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/182/163/164/175/166/197/188/169/1910/1711/2012/18
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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