Home   Logon   Mobile Site   Research and Commentary   About Us   Call 1.800.621.1675 or Email Us       Follow Us: 

Search by Ticker, Keyword or CUSIP       

Blog Home
   Brian Wesbury
Chief Economist
Click for Bio
Follow Brian on Twitter Follow Brian on LinkedIn View Videos on YouTube
   Bob Stein
Deputy Chief Economist
Click for Bio
Follow Bob on Twitter Follow Bob on LinkedIn View Videos on YouTube
  Housing starts declined 4.1% in December to 657,000 units at an annual rate
Posted Under: Data Watch • Home Starts • Housing

Implications:  Housing starts fell short of consensus expectations, but that was all due to multi-family units, which are extremely volatile from month to month. As the charts to the right clearly show, the general trend in the multi-family sector has been up since mid-2009. Given the shift away from home ownership and toward rental occupancy, we expect that trend to re-assert itself over next few months. Meanwhile, single-family housing starts were up 4.4% in December and are up 11.6% from a year ago. With the exception of the temporary period in 2009-10 covered by the homebuyer credit, this is the largest twelve-month gain since the  housing boom was still intact, back in 2005. In other words, the long-awaited turning point in home building has clearly arrived.  Based on population growth and "scrappage," home building must increase substantially over the next several years to avoid eventually running into shortages. For more on the housing market, please see our recent research report (link). In other good news this morning, new claims for unemployment insurance fell 50,000 last week to 352,000, the lowest since April 2008. Continuing claims for regular state benefits fell 205,000 to 3.43 million, the lowest since just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. Seasonal volatility probably accounts for some of these declines, but not all of them. In other news, the Philadelphia Fed index, a measure of manufacturing activity, increased to +7.3 in January from +6.8 in December. Adding an expansion in home building to an already growing factory sector means faster economic growth and job creation in 2012.

Click here for a printable version.
Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 10:16 AM • Post Link Share: 
Print this post Printer Friendly

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
The information presented is not intended to constitute an investment recommendation for, or advice to, any specific person. By providing this information, First Trust is not undertaking to give advice in any fiduciary capacity within the meaning of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or any other regulatory framework. Financial professionals are responsible for evaluating investment risks independently and for exercising independent judgment in determining whether investments are appropriate for their clients.
First Trust Portfolios L.P.  Member SIPC and FINRA. (Form CRS)   •  First Trust Advisors L.P. (Form CRS)
Home |  Important Legal Information |  Privacy Policy |  California Privacy Policy |  Business Continuity Plan |  FINRA BrokerCheck
Copyright © 2022 All rights reserved.