Thursday, November 29, 2012

Housing starts hit 5-year high in West region

Housing starts in the West Census region of the US, which includes Colorado, were up 80.1 percent from October 2011 to October 2012, counting both single-family and multi-family units. According to new housing construction and housing starts data released last week by the US Census Bureau, both single-family and multi-family housing starts in the U.S. West region were at a five-year high for October and there were approximately 19,100 housing units of all types started in the West during October 2012. Of the new units started, 11,800 were single-family structures and 7,300 were structures containing more than one housing unit. 

Nationally, housing starts rose 46 percent during the same period, with total housing starts rising to a total of 77,900.

Total housing starts remain well below peak levels both nationally and in the West. October 2012 housing starts in the West were 65 percent below the peak reached during May 2004. Nationally, October 2012 was 60 percent below peak levels. The national peak in housing starts was reached during May 2005. 

Multifamily starts have rebounded more than single-family starts. In the West, single-family starts were 77 percent below peak levels while multifamily starts were only 35 percent below peak levels. 

The West census region includes states on the west coast and within the Rocky Mountain region.

The first graph shows that while single-family starts continue to be down significantly, multifamily starts are quickly returning to levels that were common during the past decade. Since 2001, the monthly average for multifamily starts has been 5,600 starts. with a total of 7,300 starts for October, the West region was above average, and this combined with October hitting a five-year high for the month, the data confirms that multifamily starts totals are robust by the standards of the past decade. 

The second graph shows October's multifamily starts total compared to all other Octobers since 2004. Four of the past five months have all shown multifamily starts totals that were five-month highs. 

The third graph shows all starts in the region, and these were at a five year high for October.