Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Multifamily housing starts down in November, but single-family starts up 34.9 percent

Housing starts in the West Census region of the US, which includes Colorado, were down 2.3 percent from November 2011 to November 2012, counting both single-family and multi-family units. According to new housing construction and housing starts data released today by the US Census Bureau, single-family housing starts were at a five-year high for November totals, but multi-family housing starts in the West were down from November 2011 to November 2012, dropping by 39 percent. Multifamily starts were down primarily due to a very large amount of multifamily starts that occurred during November of last year. 

Single-family starts, on the other hand, were up yet again, and reached the highest level recorded during any November since 2007. Single-family starts increased 34.9 percent from November 2011 to November 2012 in the Weest region. 

Nationally, housing starts, including both single-family and multi-family, rose 21 percent during the same period.

Total housing starts remain well below peak levels both nationally and in the West. November 2012 housing starts in the West were 77 percent below the peak reached during May 2004. Nationally, November 2012 was 67 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 82 percent below peak levels while multifamily starts were only 62 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 when taking 2012 as a whole, compared to 2011, housing starts were at a four-year high. Starts have declined due to seasonal factors, but have generally shown growth this year over last year. 

The second graph shows November's multifamily starts total compared to all other November since 2004. November's multifamily total was down from November 2011, but was up from 2008, 2009, and 2010 levels. 

The third graph shows all starts in the region, and these were also slightly down from November 2011 due to the decline in multifamily starts. If we were to look at single-family starts separately, we would see that November 2012 single-family starts were at the highest level for any November since 2007.