U.S. housing starts have started to rebound; however, they are still well below the data from a year ago. Housing starts increased 4.3% in May, according to this week's announcement from the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. Yet, this is 23.2% below May 2019. Housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 974,000 in May. Economists predicted starts would jump slightly over one million, according to Reuters. This was the first monthly increase since January.
Meanwhile, building permits increased 14.4% in May but are still behind 8.8% from May 2019. Housing completions declined 7.3% in May and are below May 2019 by 9.3%. Single-family building permits increased nearly 12% in May, leading some to think starts will pick up in the coming months from their marginal increase in May.
Regional housing starts saw the Northeast and West with increases and the Midwest and South declines in May. All four regions were down compared to May 2019.
According to Wells Fargo Securities, "the housing market appears to be holding up fairly well, and while we expect declines for the year in housing starts, residential construction should soon begin to pick back up again."
-Michael Miller, managing editor