Chart Of The Day: Housing Starts Adjusted vs Unadjusted Redux

Tyler Durden's picture

This day one month ago, our chart of the day was the spread between adjusted and unadjusted Housing Starts number, which as we showed back then, had a very curious surge in starts on a seasonally adjusted basis at some 103K, even as unadjusted starts dropped. Today, housing starts are finally return back to reality, as the adjusted number printed at 890K, below expectations of a 920K number, with the prior pushed even higher from 954K to 973K. Yet as last month, it was the unadjusted number that was indicative of reality, and at 58.5K housing starts, this was the weakest actual, un-SAARed number since March 2012, when it was 58.0K. Only difference: back in March 2012, the Adjusted Starts number was 706K, or 184K less than today. Today's unadjusted number is also lower than it was in June 2011 when it printed 60.5K, and when the adjusted print was, drumroll,  615K or 275K less than today! Thank you seasonal adjustments.

As for that even more amazing December calendar adjustment following today's upward revised December Starts data, here is how it looks in the context of the same data from 2011 and 2010. Fully retarded.

Somehow, we get the impression they are not even trying any more.

Source: CB

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Big Slick's picture

Does this mean Anne Margaret ISN'T coming?

ihedgemyhedges's picture


Buyer: "Is it a good time to buy a house?"


Buyer: "Is it a good time to buy a house?"

edb5s's picture

No worries everyone: 

David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders, tells The Daily Ticker that this slight decline is nothing to worry about. “Given the strength [home builder confidence] showed during all of 2012 I think this is it just simply taking a breath," he says.

TruthInSunshine's picture

The other part of this analysis that's important is to compare and contrast starts of multi-family units, the overwhelming majority of which are apartments, many of which are taxpayer subsidized at both the federal and state levels as long as a fairly low % of total units built in any one development have rental rates that qualify as "low income or "affordable" housing by governmental standards, pre and post 2007.

This is critical since developers of "qualifying" multi-family apartment structures are able to obtain FHA-guaranteed NON-RECOURSE loans to build out their projects, and are also able to do this with a small fraction of total cost coming "out of pocket."

redpill's picture

I never understood why so many people are so hot to trot about housing start data anyway. It's a very thin lagged survey of permits. For single family homes it is 1 out of 50 permits in the 900 survey of construction offices out of the 19,000 permit issuing places nationwide. The margin of error is so large that they don't even release it on the state level, only regions and the nation. So even the non-seasonally adjusted data is going to be suspect, and by the time X-12-ARIMA is done with it, the 90% confidence level frequently includes zero. In other words, on a seasonally adjusted basis it's common for them to not actually be able to say starts or sales went up or down.

Permit data is much more comprehensive, and the percentage of homes that get permitted but never started is quite small (2-3%). Plus trends using only NSA can be viewed by examining the data on a rolling 12 month basis.

doclink's picture

I was hoping the interviewer was lauren lyster. i don't think she would have let him get away with the 'taking a breath' BS.

(regarding Daily Ticker link above)

Super Broccoli's picture

a real estate agent is just a sales person, just like a trader, he's always going to tell you everything's fine !

kridkrid's picture

I know a couple... they aren't lying... they are deluded. In that sense, I'm not sure that you can blame the craft "sales person" (I use the term craft loosely) as much as you can blame the silly human condition. The real estate agent is a hamster, just like everyone else.

CrimsonAvenger's picture

10,000 BC

Buyer: Is it a good time to buy a cave?

TruthInSunshine's picture

Rumor has there were massive chain-of-title issues back then, since recording statutes weren't common.

Hey, we have recoding statutes, but we've discovered they don't signify much!

It's the bigger club rule of title again...after all...

Mercury's picture

On a seasonally adjusted basis I've already had sex twice today.

ihedgemyhedges's picture

Did you switch hands?????????

Mercury's picture

That's an employment metric.
Different department.

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

well, he was UPstanding until the union took over the handjob....

Translational Lift's picture

Oh....I know....Cali didn't report so they estimated!!

GetZeeGold's picture



Don't need Cali.....just whip out some numbers and ship it.

cossack55's picture

I've got some serious ideas for some adjustments in the DC area.

Sudden Debt's picture



StychoKiller's picture

How's that new Belgian Govt working out?


Sudden Debt's picture

well... our prime minster is gay and rumor has it that he has multiple boyfriends, so everybody is asking why he doesn't show them in plublic.

It's a sport to post pictures of him with different young guys.


resurger's picture

that comes without saying ...

urbanelf's picture

Where's my fucking house then?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Somehow, we get the impression they are not even trying any more."

They are daring the half asleep (nothing will wake the dead) to look close enough to see the farce. Watch out or you may see something you'll regret.

<Go ahead, I dare you. I double dare you.>

Caracalla's picture


Nice of Bernanke to have our backs.....wonder how low it goes when the Fed can't or won't continue to backstop??

papaswamp's picture

The peeps must not see the reality.... Joe Schmo show.

Son of Loki's picture

Driving to downtown yesterday I saw lots of houses suddenly appear for sale and for rent. I guess they went dormant for the winter ( can houses fly South?) and now are back flooding the market....along with unmowed lawns, broken fences, and the usual signs of a 'jobless recovery.'

FEDbuster's picture

Those unmowed lawns are "green shoots".  Spring is coming, time to test the "for sale" market. 

The "for rents" may be the start of many hedge fund landlord's greed driven, single family rental nightmare.

BooMushroom's picture

Plenty of houses vacant for a year or more. I guess you can sit on inventory forever if you paid for it with double-leveraged, triple-rehypothicated money you got for free in the first place!

Rustysilver's picture

May be OT may be not>

"Authorities say a Spanish woman walked into a bank branch in a small eastern city, doused herself with flammable liquid and set herself ablaze."

Translational Lift's picture

"Today, housing starts are finally return back to reality, as the adjusted number printed at 890K, below expectations of a 920K number."

The dumb bitch on Bloomberg just said, with a straight face, market looks to open up on good housing reports.  Bullish....I say BULLISH!

caimen garou's picture

buy an I-phone get a house free!

Sudden Debt's picture

Yesterday I was watching this prepper docu on discovery channel.

There was this guy who was planning to buy a bunker for his family... it costed 75K....

and his wife suddenly said: THAT COSTS AS MUCH AS OUR HOUSE!




MachoMan's picture

My brother in law just sold a nice house for $60k...  laminate flooring...  3/1 I think...  probably ~1200 sq ft...  ~3 acres...  nice shop...

Some areas of the world didn't get bit by the massive credit bubble as much as others... 

Sudden Debt's picture

But how come everybody doesn't at least own 1 house?


I donwpay that every 19 months!

adr's picture

Cause in Americay you're lucky to get a job that pays $9 a hour, of course then you don't have to buy a house, Obamer will give you one. You might even get a brand new $200k Pulte Townhome.

If by chance you have a job paying $50k a year, you have nothing left each month to save after health insurance, taxes, food, and paying for 100 million deadbeats.

I paid $132k for my 1400 sq ft home. Thanks to the supposed housing recovery it is now worth $105k.

WillyGroper's picture

Saw some real good deals in the Smokey Mountains last night. Gatlinburg to be exact.

Oldwood's picture

people have been conditioned through years of constant marketing to pretty much believe anything they are told. The one problem is for people who have working too much to watch TV, they haven't been properly conditioned.....but they are working on that!

Kasperfx's picture

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. " MARK TWAIN

“Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.” 


IridiumRebel's picture

God get me past this home inspection Saturday....dump this fucker and then wait for the TANK-SPLOSION-POCALYPSE in housing.

Village Smithy's picture

Our hopes and day dreams are with you.

adr's picture

So we are supposedly starting amost 1 million homes? Wow no wonder the homebuilder stocks are soaring. That is a lot of homes being built. Also why lumber is near record highs, there must be a shortage.

Oh, in reality we are starting 60k and finishing about 15k. Must be why the developments are empty and the lumberyards are overflowing.

I don't know when reality will break through, but when it does LOOK OUT BELOW.

How can you seasonaly adjust 99% of the number?

Pairadimes's picture

So all I've ever had to do was seasonally adjust my salary and 401k? Well, shit!