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!!