The housing starts report showed total starts were up 3.6% in May compared to the previous month, and total starts were up 50.3% year-over-year compared to May 2020.
The first graph shows the month to month comparison for total starts between 2020 (blue) and 2021 (red).
Starts were up 50.3% in May compared to May 2020. The year-over-year comparison will be easy again in June, but will be more difficult starting in July.
2020 was off to a strong start before the pandemic, and with low interest rates, and little competing existing home inventory, starts finished 2020 strong.
These graphs use a 12 month rolling total for NSA starts and completions.
The rolling 12 month total for starts (blue line) increased steadily for several years following the great recession – then mostly moved sideways. Completions (red line) had lagged behind – then completions caught up with starts- then starts picked up a little again late last year, but have fallen off with the pandemic.
The last graph shows single family starts and completions. It usually only takes about 6 months between starting a single family home and completion – so the lines are much closer. The blue line is for single family starts and the red line is for single family completions.
Single family starts are getting back to more normal levels, but I still expect some further increases in single family starts and completions on a rolling 12 month basis – especially given the low level of existing home inventory.