2012 Economic Calendar
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Housing Starts  
Released On 8/16/2012 8:30:00 AM For Jul, 2012
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Starts - Level - SAAR0.760 M0.754 M0.750 M0.695 M to 0.785 M0.746 M
Permits - Level - SAAR0.755 M0.760 M0.766 M0.695 M to 0.805 M0.812 M

Housing starts eased a bit in July after a strong June but permits showed moderate strength. Housing starts in July slipped 1.1 percent, following a 6.8 percent rebound the month before. The July pace of 0.746 million units posted slightly lower than the market expectation for 0.750 million and is up 21.5 percent on a year-ago basis.

In July, the dip was led by the single-family component which decreased 6.5 percent after a 4.7 percent rise in June. The multifamily component, however, increased 12.4 percent, coincidentally matching the gain in June.

By region, starts in July were led by a 17.0 percent jump in the Midwest Census region. Other regions slipped with the West down 5.3 percent, the South down 3.5, and the Northeast down 1.3 percent. Interestingly, all regions moved in their opposite direction from June, perhaps indicating that there is a slow underlying trend for improvement but with some monthly volatility.

Housing permits show moderate upward momentum. Permits rebounded 6.8 percent in July after a 3.1 percent decline in June. The July rate of 0.812 million units topped market expectations for 0.766 million units. Permit strength was led by multifamily but single-family also improved.

Today's report is net positive with starts close to expectations and permits notably above. With recently improved homebuilder sentiment corroborating, it looks like housing is on a modest uptrend. Equity futures were little changed on the news. Released at the same time, jobless claims were very close to expectations.

Consensus Outlook
Housing starts in June rebounded 6.9 percent after dropping 4.8 percent in May. The June pace of 0.760 million units was up 23.6 percent on a year-ago basis. For the latest month the single-family and multifamily components both gained. Single-family starts increased 4.7 percent after a 2.2 percent in May. The multifamily component-which is volatile-rebounded 12.8 percent, following an 19.3 percent drop in May. Housing permits have been bumped around recently by volatility in the multifamily component but also appear to be on a modest uptrend. Permits slipped 3.7 percent in June but followed a sharp 8.4 percent surge the prior month. Permits in June posted at an annualized pace of 0.755 million units.

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
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

2012 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/192/163/204/175/166/197/188/169/1910/1711/2012/19
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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