Housing starts in December jumped +1.4% m/m.
Housing Starts Kick In During December 2021
According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), overall housing starts in December increased +1.4% m/m to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.70M units.
Multi-family construction skyrocketed +10.6% m/m to approximately 530,000. Single-family home construction fell -2.3% to 1.12M units. Despite this decrease, however, and the challenges of supply chain blockages, single-family starts increased by double digits during 2021.
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According to HUD, some 1,565,100 housing units began construction in 2021, an increase of +15.6% y/y.
Home Builders Persevering
Supply chain bottle-ups and soaring materials costs are the two major challenges facing home builders. The slight decline in homebuilder confidence levels reflect these concerns. (See this week’s article “Builder Confidence Level Dips For First Time in Four Months.”)
Though extended timelines for new home completions and higher prices, industry experts attribute this year’s steady increase of new homes to a stabilization of the labor market, steady demand, extremely low inventory and still relatively low mortgage rates.
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“The double-digit gain for single-family starts in 2021 was a continuation of the rebound and expansion of home building that took place in the wake of the pandemic,” said National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) Chief Economist Robert Dietz.
Dietz continued, “However, as mortgage interest rates are rising and construction costs increase, affordability headwinds are steepening. The NAHB’s outlook for 2022 calls for relatively flat conditions for single-family construction, with additional gains for multifamily and remodeling.”
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