Office of Public Affairs
May 16, 2017
Raemeka Mayo or Stephen Cooper
Economic Indicators Division
NEW RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY IN APRIL
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for April 2017:
Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,229,000. This is 2.5 percent (±1.1 percent) below the revised March rate of 1,260,000, but is 5.7 percent (±1.4 percent) above the April 2016 rate of 1,163,000. Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 789,000; this is 4.5 percent (±0.8 percent) below the revised March figure of 826,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 403,000 in April.
Privately owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,172,000. This is 2.6 percent (±8.8 percent)* below the revised March estimate of 1,203,000, but is 0.7 percent (±7.0 percent)* above the April 2016 rate of 1,164,000. Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 835,000; this is 0.4 percent (±8.6 percent)* above the revised March figure of 832,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 328,000.
Privately owned housing completions in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,106,000. This is 8.6 percent (±10.8 percent)* below the revised March estimate of 1,210,000, but is 15.1 percent (±12.2 percent) above the April 2016 rate of 961,000. Single-family housing completions in April were at a rate of 784,000; this is 4.5 percent (±10.6 percent)* below the revised March rate of 821,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 299,000.
New Residential Construction data for May 2017 is scheduled for release on June 16, 2017.
In interpreting changes in the statistics in this release, note that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements which may be irregular. It may take three months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, six months for total starts, and six months for total completions. The statistics in this release are estimated from sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error including bias and variance from response, nonreporting, and undercoverage. Estimated relative standard errors of the most recent data are shown in the tables. Whenever a statement such as “2.5 percent (±3.2 percent) above” appears in the text, this indicates the range (-0.7 to +5.7 percent) in which the actual percentage change is likely to have occurred. All ranges given for percentage changes are 90 percent confidence intervals and account only for sampling variability. If a range does not contain zero, the change is statistically significant. If it does contain zero, the change is not statistically significant; that is, it is uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease. The same policies apply to the confidence intervals for percentage changes shown in the tables. On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates of total building permits, housing starts and housing completions are revised 2 percent or less. Explanations of confidence intervals and sampling variability can be found at the Census Bureau's website.