US Housing Starts, Building Permits Collapsed In February

After mixed data last month (starts down, permits up), February's starts and permits were expected to drop modestly MoM. Instead they utterly collapsed as interest rates soared, with Starts down 10.3% MoM (-1.3% exp) and Permits down 10.8% MoM (-7.2% exp).

Source: Bloomberg

Total starts and permits tumbled from post-financial crisis highs...

Source: Bloomberg

Under the hoods, multi-family starts were the biggest driver of the drop... (single-family starts -8.5%, multi-family starts -14.5)

Both multi-family (-11.6%) and single-family (-10.0%) permits plunged...

However, housing starts crashed in the MidWest (down 34.9%) suggesting this unexpectedly large drop is weather-related (and ironically Permits dropped across all regions except midwest: Northeast -9.8%, South -13.9%, West -11.3%, Midwest 1.2%)

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