- The 12-month rolling total of housing starts was up year-over-year, but the rate of increase is slowing. Five of the past six months have shown slowing growth in starts, which means homebuyers will see fewer new homes come on to the market in the next six to 12 months.
- While housing starts continue to inch up to their pre-recession average, they’re only about 75% back to normal. Housing completions, which represent tangible new supply for homebuyers, is even lower at 67%. Though homebuilders continue their slow and steady charge, there is much room for growth headed into 2017.
The 12-month rolling total of starts –which is a less volatile measure of new construction activity – grew 4.5% year-over-year in September to 1,142,900 starts. Though solid growth, it’s the fifth in the past six months where gains fell from the previous month. This puts housing starts in September at about 75% of the pre-recession historical average.
The rolling total of housing completions, which represent new supply to the market and lag starts by 6-12 months, grew by 7.9% in September to 1,022,000 completions and sit at 67% of their pre-recession historical average. The stronger growth in completions reflects the steady gains in starts from earlier in the year that builders are now finishing and bringing to market. While these completed homes bring welcomed relief to homebuyers, they shouldn’t get their hopes up about the new year. This is because the as the pace of starts slows, so will completions in early 2017.