WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Census Bureau jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for February 2016:
Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,167,000. This is 3.1 percent (±0.8%)* below the revised January rate of 1,204,000, but is 6.3 percent (±2.0%) above the February 2015 estimate of 1,098,000. Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 731,000; this is 0.4 percent (±1.2%)* above the revised January figure of 728,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 401,000 in February.
Privately owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,178,000. This is 5.2 percent (±16.9%)* above the revised January estimate of 1,120,000, but is 30.9 percent (±16.3%) above the February 2015 rate of 900,000. Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 822,000; this is 7.2 percent (±17.4%)* above the revised January figure of 767,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 341,000.
Privately owned housing completions in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,016,000. This is 4.2 percent (±9.5%)* below the revised January estimate of 1,060,000 but is 17.5 percent (±14.3%)* below the February 2015 rate of 865,000. Single-family housing completions in February were at a rate of 736,000; this is 6.1 percent (±12.7%)* above the revised January rate of 694,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 261,000.
New Residential Construction data for March 2016 will be released on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, at 8:30 A.M. EDT.
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 two months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, 4 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%) above” appears in the text, this indicates the range (-0.7 to +5.7 percent) in which the actual percent change is likely to have occurred. All ranges given for percent 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 percent changes shown in the tables. On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates of total building permits, housing starts and housing completions are revised about three percent or less. Explanations of confidence intervals and sampling variability can be found on our web site listed above.
* 90% confidence interval includes zero. The Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero.
U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Public Affairs
U.S. Census Bureau
Raemeka Mayo or Stephen Cooper
Economic Indicators Division