US January housing starts 1580K vs 1660K expected

US housing starts data for January 2021:

US January housing starts chart
  • Prior was 1669K
  • Building permits 1881K vs 1680K exp
  • Starts -6.0% m/m vs -0.5% exp
  • Prior starts +5.8%
The headline is a miss but January is a tough time to start building so I wouldn’t read much into it, especially after a string of good numbers. I take the signal from permits, which rose 10.4% and builders look to have a very busy spring/summer.
  • Single family starts -6.0% vs +12.0% prior
  • Multifamily +17.1% vs -15.0% prior
  • Single family permits +3.8% vs +7.8% prior