Housing Starts Collapse With The Worst Annual Drop Since 2011

Builders remain wary even as lower mortgage rates and steady wage gains offer support to consumers. Here’s a look a the ‘unexpected tumble’…

from Zero Hedge

Well this should steal the jam out of the green-shoot-brigade’s donut. Housing Starts and Permits unexpectedly tumbled in March.

Housing Starts fell 0.3% MoM (against expectations of a 5.4% rebound) and to make matters worse, February’s 8.7% plunge was revised down to a shocking 12% collapse…

This is the weakest level of Housing Starts since May 2017…

And biggest Y/Y drop since 2011, suggesting builders remain wary even as lower mortgage rates and steady wage gains offer support to consumers.

And the collapse was broad-based:

  • Northeast: -28.3% Y/Y
  • Midwest: -28.0% Y/Y
  • South: -4.1% Y/Y
  • West: -19.5% Y/Y

Both Multi- and Single-family Starts dropped… with the latter at its lowest since Sept 2016

Permits were just as ugly – dropping 1.7% MoM (against expectations of a 0.7% rise) and, like Starts, February’s data was downwardly revised (from -1.6% to -2.05% MoM)

The drop signals developers continue to struggle to build affordable properties amid rising labor and materials costs…but, but, but… lower rates and green shoots!!