After April's massive catch up surge (following March's weather-driven dip), Housing Starts and Permits data was expected to slow (or contract) in April as higher rates, and even higher prices (amid demand and higher commodity costs) begin to stymie the unprecedented buying-panic in the housing market over the past year. However, the retracement was far larger with Starts plunging 9.5% MoM (against -2.0% MoM expected) after March's upwardly revised 19.8% rise and Permits rising just 0.3% MoM (half the expected 0.6% MoM rise) after March's revised lower 1.7% rise...
Is the housing boom over?
Housing Starts plunge was dominated by a 13.4% plunge in Single-family home starts (while Multi-family (Rental) was up 4.0%)...
Housing Permits saw the opposite pattern to Starts with Single Family down 3.8% and Multi-family (Rental) up 11.1%
The Midwest saw Starts crash 34.8% (and the South dropped 11.5%) while The West (+9.0%) and Northeast (+6.2%) both rose.
The Widwest also led the weakness in Permits, dropping 9.9%, along with The West (-4.1%) while The South (+3.9%) and Northeast (+8.4%) both saw increased activity.
Finally, as we noted yesterday, the vast gap of incredulity between homebuilders' record high confidence and homebuyers' record low confidence remains a key harbinger of problems ahead (and/or perhaps a sign of the inexorably growing inequality gap created by The Fed)...
Get back to work escaping that box you're in Mr. Powell.