Housing Starts (New Residential Construction)
December’s Housing Starts kicked off today’s batch of economic releases at 8:30 AM ET, revealing a surprising 16.9% spike in new home groundbreakings. This was much stronger than expected and pushed starts to their best level in 13 years. The report includes multi and single-family starts though. A large contributor to the overall increase was a 29.8% jump in starts of multi-family homes such as condos and apartment buildings. Still, the 11.2% rise in single-family groundbreakings is a healthy rate that indicates housing sector strength. Fortunately, the number of new permits issued that helps predict future starts came in much weaker than expected. Unfortunately, the headline number on this report is enough to have a negative impact on this morning’s bond trading and mortgage pricing even though it is not considered to be highly important.