Madison’s Lumber Reporter 1/26/2023

Full-year 2022 US housing starts and new home sales data has been released and while the dampening effects of rising mortgage rates remain, the numbers for December show a slight uptick.

In 2022 the US began building 1.55 million homes, just a -3% drop from full-year 2021. Single-family starts in 2022 totalled 1.01 million, down -10.6% from the previous year.
Total housing starts in the US for December 2022 were almost flat from the previous month, decreasing only -1.4% to 1.382 million units compared to the revised 1.401 million units reported for November, and dropped -22% from the December 2021 rate of 1.768 million.

Building permits were also essentially flat, down by -1.6%, at 1.330 million units from the November rate of 1.351 million. This is -30% below the December 2021 rate of 1.896 million. These will eventually become starts and will help to underpin residential construction.

While housing starts were down in full-year 2022, housing completions posted a +3.8% annual gain, rising to an estimated annual rate of 1.392 million housing units. Dropping from the historical highs seen in most of 2022, there were 1.712 million units under construction, 769,000 of those were single-family homes. This is still well above the historical record-high of 1.628 million total units that were under construction in 1973.

Benchmark Softwood Lumber Prices January 2023 & US Housing Starts Full-Year 2023