|HUD No. 18-014
Office of Public Affairs
U.S. Census Bureau
Raemeka Mayo or Stephen Cooper, Economic Indicators Division
February 16, 2018
HUD AND CENSUS BUREAU REPORT RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY IN JANUARY 2018
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for January 2018.
Building Permits: Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,396,000. This is 7.4 percent (±1.2 percent) above the revised December rate of 1,300,000 and is 7.4 percent (±1.9 percent) above the January 2017 rate of 1,300,000. Single-family authorizations in January were at a rate of 866,000; this is 1.7 percent (±1.3 percent) below the revised December figure of 881,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 479,000 in January.
Housing Starts: Privately owned housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,326,000. This is 9.7 percent (±16.8 percent)* above the revised December estimate of 1,209,000 and is 7.3 percent (±15.0 percent)* above the January 2017 rate of 1,236,000. Single-family housing starts in January were at a rate of 877,000; this is 3.7 percent (±9.7 percent)* above the revised December figure of 846,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 431,000.
Housing Completions: Privately owned housing completions in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,166,000. This is 1.9 percent (±7.8 percent)* below the revised December estimate of 1,188,000, but is 7.7 percent (±11.9 percent)* above the January 2017 rate of 1,083,000. Single-family housing completions in January were at a rate of 850,000; this is 2.2 percent (±8.3 percent)* above the revised December rate of 832,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 305,000.
The February report is scheduled for release on March 16, 2018.
Read more about new residential construction activity (https://www.census.gov/construction/nrc/index.html).
In interpreting changes in the statistics in this release, note that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements which may be irregular. It may take three months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, six months for total starts, and six months for total completions. The statistics in this release are estimated from sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error including bias and variance from response, nonreporting, and undercoverage. Estimated relative standard errors of the most recent data are shown in the tables. Whenever a statement such as "2.5 percent (±3.2 percent) above" appears in the text, this indicates the range (-0.7 to +5.7 percent) in which the actual percentage change is likely to have occurred. All ranges given for percentage changes are 90 percent confidence intervals and account only for sampling variability. If a range does not contain zero, the change is statistically significant. If it does contain zero, the change is not statistically significant; that is, it is uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease. The same policies apply to the confidence intervals for percentage changes shown in the tables. On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates of total building permits, housing starts and housing completions are revised 3 percent or less. Explanations of confidence intervals and sampling variability can be found at the Census Bureau's website (https://www.census.gov/construction/nrc/how_the_data_are_collected/index.html).
* The 90 percent confidence interval includes zero. In such cases, there is insufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero.