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New Residential Housing Starts Surged in April

  • Written by Syndicated Publisher No Comments Comments
    May 21, 2015

    The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have now published their findings for April new residential housing starts.

    The latest reading of 1.135M was well above the Investing.com forecast of 1.019M.

    Here is the opening of this morning’s monthly report:

    Privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,135,000. This is 20.2 percent (±14.4%) above the revised March estimate of 944,000 and is 9.2 percent (±10.6%)* above the April 2014 rate of 1,039,000.Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 733,000; this is 16.7 percent (±10.6%) above the revised March figure of 628,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 389,000.   [link to report]

    Here is the historical series for total privately-owned housing starts, which dates from 1959. Because of the extreme volatility of the monthly data points, a 3-month moving average has been included.

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    The Population-Adjusted Reality

    Here is the data with a simple population adjustment. The Census Bureau’s mid-month population estimates show substantial growth in the US population since 1959. Here is a chart of housing starts as a percent of the population.

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    Images: Flickr (licence attribution)

    About The Author

    My original dshort.com website was launched in February 2005 using a domain name based on my real name, Doug Short. I’m a formerly retired first wave boomer with a Ph.D. in English from Duke. Now my website has been acquired byAdvisor Perspectives, where I have been appointed the Vice President of Research.

    My first career was a faculty position at North Carolina State University, where I achieved the rank of Full Professor in 1983. During the early ’80s I got hooked on academic uses of microcomputers for research and instruction. In 1983, I co-directed the Sixth International Conference on Computers and the Humanities. An IBM executive who attended the conference made me a job offer I couldn’t refuse.

    Thus began my new career as a Higher Education Consultant for IBM — an ambassador for Information Technology to major universities around the country. After 12 years with Big Blue, I grew tired of the constant travel and left for a series of IT management positions in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. I concluded my IT career managing the group responsible for email and research databases at GlaxoSmithKline until my retirement in 2006.

    Contrary to what many visitors assume based on my last name, I’m not a bearish short seller. It’s true that some of my content has been a bit pessimistic in recent years. But I believe this is a result of economic realities and not a personal bias. For the record, my efforts to educate others about bear markets date from November 2007, as this Motley Fool article attests.
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