Housing Starts Collapse Continues - Worst Annual Drop Since 2011

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!!