Key Economic Indicator: Relative Difference of Housing Starts over Housing
Completions at Three-Decade High
In the wake of recent negative economic trends—the decline in labor force participation, decline in retail sales, and decline in gasoline retail deliveries by refiners—comes another piece of unsettling news. Not only are Housing Starts and Housing Completions still hovering near their record lows experienced in the wake of the collapse of the 1997–2007 Housing Bubble, but also new figures just released by the U.S. Department of Commerce for January 2012 show that the percentage difference between Housing Completions over Housing Starts is at an almost three decade high of 31.89%, a rate of excess of Completions over Starts not seen since the first quarter of 1983.
Monthly Housing Starts Data available here, and Monthly Housing Completions data available here, courtesy of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.