Last Update: 02-Jul-15 16:50 ET
- Housing starts declined 11.1% in May to 1.036 mln from an upwardly revised 1.165 mln (from 1.135 mln) in April. The Briefing.com Consensus expected housing starts to decline to 1.100 mln.
- In April, housing starts rose 22.1%, which was an historic, multi-decade high. It was only natural for housing starts to pull back following such a large increase.
- Even after the decline, May starts were above Q1 averages (978,000) and in-line with trends from Q4 2014 (1.055 mln).
- There was some concern that heavy rainfall throughout the U.S. might have impacted construction levels in May, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The South, which suffered some of the worst flooding from the deluge in Texas, was actually the best performing area in the U.S. Starts only declined 5.0% compared to declines of 26.5% in the Northeast, 12.5% in the West, and 10.2% in the Midwest.
- Single-family construction declined 5.4% in May to 680,000 from 719,000 in April. That was a little light compared to Q4 2014 trends (700,000), but well above first quarter levels (643,000).
- The volatile multifamily construction starts declined 20.2% to 356,000 in May from 446,000 in April.
- The number of units currently under construction increased a very modest 0.5% in May, from 859,000 to 863,000.
- Despite the May decline, housing starts are firmly back on their late 2014 trends.