Total housing starts in January were well above expectations and revisions to prior months were positive.
The housing starts report showed starts were down 3.6% in January compared to December, and starts were up 21.4% year-over-year compared to January 2019.
These were blow out numbers! Starts in December were at the highest level for starts since December 2006 (end of the bubble). However, the weather was very nice again in January (just like in December), and the weather probably had a significant impact on the seasonally adjusted housing starts number. The winter months of December and January have the largest seasonal factors, so nice weather can really have an impact.
Single family starts were up 4.6% year-over-year, and multi-family starts were up 71.3% YoY.
This first graph shows the month to month comparison for total starts between 2019 (blue) and 2020 (red).