Rock Products Logo
Now Incorporating Aggregates Manager
 

 

 
 

ANNUAL READER SURVEY

Help Rock Products understand the state of the industry and the needs of our readers by completing our annual Reader Survey.

It only takes 10 minutes and your answers will help guide us as we plan our content for the upcoming years.

Start Survey

 

Housing Starts Dip, Permits Rise


Total housing starts decreased 3.6% in January from an upwardly revised December reading to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.57 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department. Meanwhile, overall permits surged to a 13-year high.

It takes 400 tons of aggregates to construct the average modern home, according to the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association.

The January reading of 1.57 million starts is the number of housing units builders would begin if they kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts decreased 5.9% to a 1.01 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. The multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, increased 0.7% to a 557,000 pace.

“The housing recovery continues, as single-family housing starts have surpassed one million for the second consecutive month and multifamily production has been running above 500,000 for the same period,” said NAHB Chairman Dean Mon, a home builder and developer from Shrewsbury, N.J. “Meanwhile, builder confidence remains solid as demand continues to pick up.”

“While the solid pace for residential construction continues, favorable weather conditions may have accelerated production in the winter months,” said Nanayakkara-Skillington, NAHB’s assistant vice president of forecasting and analysis. “At the same time, the growth in permits is a harbinger that that market will continue to move forward in the coming months, even as builders grapple with supply-side issues like excessive regulations, labor shortages and rising material costs.”

Regionally in January, combined single- and multifamily housing production increased 31.9% in the Northeast and 1.2% in the West. Starts fell 25.9% in the Midwest and 5.4% in the South.

Overall permits, which are a harbinger of future housing production, increased 9.2% to a 1.55 million unit annualized rate in January. This is the highest level since March 2007. Single-family permits increased 6.4% to a 987,000 rate while multifamily permits increased 14.6% to a 564,000 pace.

Looking at regional permit data, permits are 34.6% higher in the Northeast, 8.2% higher in the Midwest, 8.0% higher in the South and 3.1% higher in the West.