2010 Economic Calendar
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Housing Starts  
Released On 8/17/2010 8:30:00 AM For Jul, 2010
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Starts - Level - SAAR0.549 M0.546 M0.565 M0.550 M to 0.585 M0.546 M
Permits - Level - SAAR0.586 M0.583 M0.565 M

Housing improved in July – but well short of expectations. Housing starts in July posted a modest comeback, rising 1.7 percent after an 8.7 percent decrease in June. The July annualized pace of 0.546 million units came in below the median forecast for 0.565 million units and is down 7.0 percent on a year-ago basis. In fact, the latest number is also down fractionally from the initial June estimate of 0.549. That is, July would have been a decline instead of a rebound were it not for a downward revision to June.

The July improvement was led by a 32.6 percent bounce back in multifamily starts, following a 33.3 percent drop in June. The single-family component-weighed down by inventories-declined 4.2 percent after dipping 1.7 percent in June.

By region, the gain in starts was led by a 3.9 percent rebound in the South. Other regions declined-the Northeast, down 25.9 percent; the West, down 4.9 percent; and the Midwest, down 1.1 percent.

Looking ahead, permits fell back 3.1 percent, following a 1.6 percent rebound in June. Overall permits stood at an annualized rate of 0.565 million units and are down 3.7 percent on a year-ago basis.

The housing sector improved modestly in July at the headline level. But it largely was a technical rebound in the multifamily component. Single-family construction is slipping as indicated by both starts and permits. Equity futures eased modestly on the news.

Consensus Outlook
Housing starts fell again in June as homebuilders are still trying to figure out how to balance inventories to meet expected sales after the end of expired tax incentives. Homebuilders again slowed the pace of ground breaking as housing starts in June declined 5.0 percent after a 14.9 percent plunge in May. Multifamily starts plunged 21.5 percent in the latest month as the single-family component only slipped 0.7 percent. But we could get a little bounce in July for starts as housing permits rebounded a revised 1.6 percent in June (originally 2.1 percent), following a 5.9 percent drop in May.

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

2010 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/202/173/164/165/186/167/208/179/2110/1911/1712/16
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