Update: New Home Starts

New Home Starts came out this morning, and they were nothing to get excited about. Here’s the data:

Privately-owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally
adjusted annual rate of 1,525,000. This is 9.0 percent (±10.2%)* above
the revised January estimate of 1,399,000, but is 28.5 percent (±6.2%)
below the February 2006 rate of 2,132,000.

Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of
1,220,000; this is 10.3 percent (±8.8%) above the January figure of
1,106,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or
more was 266,000.

Note that Privately-owned housing starts, with a headline number of
plus 9%, is less than the margin of error of ±10.2%, and according to Census Bureau, "is not statistically significant; that is, it is uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease."

Note, however, that on a year-over-year basis, Starts are down 28.5%, (margin of error of ±6.2%).

This is the Census Bureau chart; curved lines are my approximate moving average . . .

Housing_starts
Courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau

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Sources:
New Housing Units Starts
February 2007
http://www.census.gov/briefrm/esbr/www/esbr020.html

NEW RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION IN FEBRUARY 2007 (PDF)
MARCH 20, 2007 AT 8:30 A.M. EDT
Manufacturing and Construction Division
http://www.census.gov/indicator/www/newresconst.pdf

Economic Indicators 
http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/briefroom/BriefRm

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