It definitely takes guts to remain optimistic in the face of some of the housing data coming at us these days. Last week, for example, we were greeted with a 16.5% drop in Housing Starts for April. It helps to dig into these reports. The dip was mostly due to multi-family starts, which are very volatile month to month, and were down 38.9%. Turns out, single-family starts were off just 2.1%. Taking a long-term view helps even more. Starts overall are up 13.1% versus a year ago, with single-family starts up a healthy 20.8%. So there.
It didn’t take any effort at all to stay optimistic in the face of the April Building Permits report. New building permits rose 14.3% during the month to a 1.02 million annual rate. Permits for single-family homes are now up 27.5% over a year ago, and multi-family permits are up a whopping 50.9%. An analysis of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development data revealed that 64% of building permits issued in the first quarter of this year were for single-family homes. And they were at the highest level since Q1 of 2008.