Housing Starts and Building Permits for the month of December both showed month/month declines but were still up compared to last year. Relative to expectations, though, Housing Starts exceeded forecasts (999K vs. 985K), while Building Permits missed forecasts (986K vs. 1014K). The table below breaks down this morning's Housing Starts and Building Permits report by multi and single family units as well as on a regional basis.
In the case of Housing Starts, the overall reading dropped 9.8%, but the larger decline was in multi-family units, which declined 14.9% m/m and 8.5% y/y. Single family units, on the other hand, dropped by just 7% m/m and actually increased by 7.6% y/y. On a regional basis, the West saw the greatest strength in December (+15.0%), while the Midwest saw the largest decline (-33.5%).
With respect to Building Permits, the declines were smaller. While overall Permits declined 3.0% m/m, multi-family units were actually unchanged m/m as single family units declined 4.8%. On a regional basis, both the Northeast and West saw increases compared to November, while the Midwest and South both saw declines. Compared to a year ago, though, the only region that saw a decline was the Midwest where Building Permits declined 11.0%.